The 120-year-old dilemma that continues to haunt Westminster
It is a question that is over 120 years old but has yet to be solved. William Gladstone was the first to raise the conundrum of whether elected representatives should be able to vote on issues which would have no effect on the lives of their constituents. In 1886, the four-times Prime Minister, talking about issues raised by Irish home rule, said: “If Ireland is to have domestic legislation for Irish affairs they cannot come here for English or Scottish affairs”.
The term the “West Lothian question” was coined in 1977 when the prospect of Scottish devolution was raised. Tam Dalyell brought attention to the fact that he was able to vote on issues that affect the English town of Blackburn, Lancashire, but not Blackburn, West Lothian, in his own constituency.
Since then the question has become even more relevant, with the creation of the Scottish Parliament and Welsh and Northern Ireland Assemblies which control large areas of policy. In May 2010 the Coalition decided to create a commission to resolve the problem. The Mackay Commission published its report in March this year, recommending that forthcoming legislation which would have an effect on England only, ought to have the backing of a majority of MPs that represent English constituencies. But it did not back the idea of giving an effective veto to English MPs.
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Cheryl Cole officially the 'most dangerous celebrity' on the internet
Ebola virus in the US: What are the symptoms, what is it and is there a cure?
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Benefits 'smart cards' plan revealed by Iain Duncan Smith to stop claimants spending welfare money on alcohol
- < Previous
- Next >
£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Key stage 3 and 4 Teacher requi...
£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Teacher of Religious Education ...
£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: A Level Chemistry Teacher - Humb...
£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education is actively r...