Wednesday 18 March 2009

Mullin: "ministers should stay in jobs for longer"

Ex-minister Chris Mullin thinks it is a problem that ministers churn through jobs so quickly that they can't get hold of their brief, before they get moved on.
"It's entirely unproductive," he said at a Fabian event, where the former chair of the home affairs select committee reminisced about his life as an MP on the occasion of the publication of his diaries.
Mullin, who was Africa minister for two years, said he was just getting to grips with the subject and getting to know ministers from African countries when he was moved to a new post.
The MP for Sunderland South also raised a couple of other criticisms about the parliamentary system, that the chairs of select committees should be parliamentary appointees, rather than being signed off by the whips, and that select committees should have fewer members.
Mullin reckons it would be a good thing for parliament have a shorter recess, as the idea of the House not in session for three months was spun by journalists into stories of MPs sunning themselves on beaches in the Bahamas for months on end, he claimed.
"I think it does damage to Parliament," he said of the long recess.

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