Cameron would renounce PM's power to go to war

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Indy Politics

David Cameron will today pledge to abandon Tony Blair's "presidential" style as he launches a review of the ancient prerogatives giving the Prime Minister sweeping powers which range from taking Britain to war to making key appointments.

He will launch the Conservatives' democracy task force, chaired by former Chancellor Kenneth Clarke, which will examine whether to strip the Prime Minister of so-called "prerogative powers" exercised in the name of the Queen without reference to Parliament.

Lord Butler, the former Cabinet secretary, will join the task force, which will draw up reforms designed to give parliament more say over key government decisions.

In a speech, to be delivered today, Mr Cameron will propose setting up a formal process to require parliamentary approval when taking military action. He will also float the idea of US-style confirmation hearings for major public appointments.

Mr Cameron will say: "If elected, I am determined to lead this country as a democratically accountable prime minister and to abandon the personal, presidential style that has taken hold under New Labour."

He will add: "Restoring trust in politics means restoring trust in Parliament - and one way to do that is to enhance the role of Parliament in scrutinising the Government's decisions.In a number of important areas - going to war, agreeing international treaties - there is no formal mechanism for consulting the nation's elected representatives.

"In other areas - like making senior appointments and reorganising government departments - the Prime Minister is able to do what he wants without consulting Parliament at all."

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