Boris Johnson has watered down controversial plans to overhaul the disciplinary process for MPs and review a senior Tory’s alleged breach of lobbying rules after widespread outrage.
Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said he would seek “cross-party” changes to the system after Labour and other opposition parties refused to take part in a “corrupt committee”.
And he suggested any changes may not “apply retrospectively” after the Government came under intense criticism for blocking Owen Paterson’s immediate suspension.
Rees-Mogg’s announcement to MPs came as an ethics adviser to the Prime Minister described Wednesday’s votes as a “very serious and damaging moment for Parliament”.
Lord Evans, the chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said plans for a Tory-led review into the disciplinary process for MPs as being “deeply at odds with the best traditions of British democracy”.
The Commons leader recognised that standards must be reformed on a cross-party basis as he acknowledged “that is clearly not the case” with the Government’s proposals.
“While there is a very strong feeling on both sides of the House that there is a need for an appeals process, there is equally a strong feeling that this should not be based on a single case or apply retrospectively,” Rees-Mogg said.
“I fear last night’s debate conflated an individual case with the general concern. This link needs to be broken.
“Therefore I and others will be looking to work on a cross-party basis to achieve improvements in our system for future cases. We will bring forward more detailed proposals once there have been cross-party discussions.”