LETTER: MPs are paid to listen

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IN YOUR article "Tories ready to reform the House of Lords" (10 December) the suggestion is made that "an alternative would be to remove the right to vote from peers who rarely attend debates". Perhaps the same should apply to the lower house. How can MPs vote in a responsible manner if they have not heard the closing speeches?

Why shouldn't all voting be by secret ballot? It is the norm outside Parliament. After all, once elected, an MP represents all constituents, not just those who voted for him or her. If MPs were audited in the same way that other public services are audited, I wonder how efficient, let alone cost-effective, they would be judged?

M C T Morrison

Swindon, Wiltshire