'Politics should not be an ugly person's showbiz contest', says Ed Miliband as he announces plans for public Prime Minister's questions
Labour leader told Andrew Marr that if he becomes Prime Minister he will hold regular sessions where he takes questions from members of the public
Ed Miliband has said that if he becomes Prime Minister he will hold regular sessions where he takes questions from members of the public – who will not be handpicked Labour Party supporters, he promised.
The suggestion is part of the Labour Leader’s campaign to change the culture of modern politics, which he complains treats the way a politician looks as more important that he or she believes in. Politics, he told BBC 1’s Andrew Marr programme, should not be “an ugly person’s showbiz contest.”
He admitted to being impressed by the way the Scottish referendum has engaged people north of the border in politics, although as he admitted, Labour was opposed to holding the referendum in the first place because they do not want Scotland to leave the UK.
He also said that Nick Clegg’s decision to put himself through a weekly radio phone-in programme on LBC was the right thing for him to do.
He added that he plans to submit proposals to the Commons Speaker, John Bercow, for reforming Prime Minister’s Questions, which has been criticised for being rowdy and confrontational.
“What we need is a public question time, where regularly the prime minister submits himself or herself to questioning from members of the public in the Palace of Westminster on Wednesdays," he said.
"Why is that important? Because I want to let the public in to our politics. At the moment there is the glass that separates the public in the gallery from the House of Commons, but there is a gulf miles wide between the kind of politics people want and what Prime Minister's Questions offers."
The sessions wouldn't necessarily be held every week, but would happen ‘regularly’, he said.
The interview was held after the Labour Leader’s speech last week in which he tried to take head-on the fact that he is unable to match David Cameron’s easy, camera-friendly manner.
Opinion polls have consistently that while Labour is ahead of the Conservatives, people believe Cameron is better Prime Minister than Miliband would be.
Mr Miliband expressed his frustration that more attention is paid to the way he looks than the things he had said on a range of issues including zero hours contracts, the cost of living, and the Middle East.“I happen to think that more important than whether I happen to good eating a bacon sandwich,” he said.
A spokeswoman for John Bercow, said: “The Speaker will look at Mr Miliband's suggestions with interest, when he receives them. Clearly, any changes would be a matter for the House.
"The Speaker's special Commission looking at the effects of the digital revolution on our democracy has received similar suggestions from people outside Parliament. However, it is clear that within Westminster there is also an appetite for further reforms to the way the House of Commons conducts itself."
- 1 Autism 'caused by genetics', study suggests
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Why you should never make assumptions about people with autism
- 4 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
How Homer Simpson discovered the Higgs boson over a decade before scientists
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Harrison Ford plane crash: Star Wars actor 'seriously injured' after light aircraft crash lands
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
£37500 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced Quantity Surveyor r...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast-growing company speci...
£17000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Support Administrator - East Ridi...