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23/05/2009

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 23 May 2009

What a week ! The Commons Speaker, Michael Martin, was forced to quit after a public confrontation with backbenchers calling on him to go.

Now there'll be a high-profile election for a new Speaker whose watchword will be reform.

Parliament is reacting to huge public anger after the publication by The Daily Telegraph of MPs' expense claims.

But it's goes much further than Speaker Martin who was ousted after being seen to defend the status quo.

This week, Gordon Brown announced moves towards the regulation of MPs' expenses by an outside body - ending self-regulation.

Some MPs have announced they'll be standing down. And there are further changes to come.

In this programme, the senior Labour MP, Chris Mullin, and the Conservative, Sir Patrick Comack, reflect on the office of Speaker.

Then, three senior MPs look to the future.

Sir Alan Beith has already said he will stand for the vacant Speaker's job. Labour's Frank Field is yet to declare but is working on a package of parliamentary reforms. The Tory's David Davis has ruled himself out but backs reform.

The Lords too are undergoing change. Two peers were suspended this week after newspaper allegations that they had been ready to accept money to try to influence new laws.

Here, the convenor of the crossbench peers, Lady D'Souza, and the Lib Dem, Lord Tyler, differ on the pace of change.

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