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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Too much democracy! Embarrassed by the success of e-petitions, senior MPs want to make it harder for YOU to have your say - 16th Nov 2011

Secret talks are being held about watering down voters’ newly-granted power to trigger debates in Parliament, following a series of embarrassments for the Government.

Ministers and senior MPs have discussed raising the threshold for the number of signatures needed on e-petitions before they can be considered for discussion in the House of Commons.

Another idea is for debates to be relegated from the Commons chamber to the backwater of Westminster Hall, normally only attended by a handful of MPs at a time.

Conservative MP Philip Davies, who sits on the backbench business committee that decides which petitions should be debated, said: ‘Our committee has helped re-establish the faith of a lot of voters in the democratic process. The Government should be pleased about that rather than interfering like this.’

The extraordinary manoeuvres came to light on the day that MPs passed a motion triggered by an e-petition demanding that the Treasury considers scrapping a 3p rise in fuel duty due in January. Read More