Clegg: No holidays until we clean up Parliament

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Indy Politics

MPs should be barred from taking their summer break until the constitutional crisis sparked by the expenses row is resolved, Nick Clegg has said.

The Liberal Democrat leader insisted Parliament should not be allowed to go into recess until "every nook and cranny" of the political system was reformed.

Writing in today's Guardian, Mr Clegg set out a 100-day action plan to clean up Commons expenses and speed up key constitutional changes.

"Let us bar the gates of Westminster and stop MPs leaving for their summer holidays until this crisis has been sorted out, and every nook and cranny of our political system reformed," Mr Clegg wrote.

"I'm setting out a plan of action to get all the changes we need delivered in just 100 days - making it possible for MPs to be sacked by their constituents, abolishing the House of Lords, getting corrupt money out of politics and changing the electoral system to give a voice to everyone."

The first two weeks of Mr Clegg's timetable for the "total reinvention of British politics" would see Parliament agree to accept the recommendations of the review into MPs' expenses and allowances by the standards watchdog, draw up a bill to allow for the recall of errant MPs, and impose a £50,000 cap on individual donations to political parties in any year.

The following period would introduce fixed parliamentary terms of four years from 2010, make ministers subject to confirmation hearings, and lay the ground for a referendum on proportional representation - to be held on day 100.

Parliament would also be asked to pass legislation replacing the House of Lords with a wholly elected senate, according to the plan.

"For decades, political reformers have been thwarted by the inertia of Westminster. But the expenses scandal has overturned old certainties and made change possible. This moment must be seized by all those who want a different kind of politics in Britain."