The senior MP who chairs the Commons spending watchdog has warned her colleagues that they risk being seen as lazy because the amount of time they spend in Westminster appears to be getting less and less.
The senior MP who chairs a Commons spending watchdog says the Government should consider making parliamentary calendar longer, because MPs risk looking "lazy". In response, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister has said in recent years the House has, in fact, been sitting for longer:
Ultimately, the shape of the parliamentary calendar is a matter for the House as a whole.
My understanding is that, for the 2013 calendar year, the House will be sitting for longer than in any of the previous four years and possibly longer than that.
Under this Government, there have been September sittings as well.
– Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman
The current parliamentary session is winding down, with both Houses of Parliament expected to rise for a few days ahead of the Queen's Speech on May 8. MPs only returned from their Easter recess last week and peers are back at work this week for the first time since March 27.
Members of the public would be forgiven for thinking that it is MPs who are lazy and that it is Parliament that is failing to provide good value for money.
The committee I chair spends a lot of time scrutinising public spending and whether it is worthwhile and yet the very heart of government - Parliament - seems to be the most sluggish part of our system.
We are not spending enough time in Westminster, and this creates a democratic vacuum. The executive can go on and you cannot hold them to the account. It feels as if we are hardly working.
– Margaret Hodge, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee speaking to The Guardian
The senior MP who chairs a Commons spending watchdog says the Government should consider making parliamentary calendar longer, because MPs risk looking "lazy".
Speaking to the Guardian, Labour's Margaret Hodge says MPs are spending much of their time in recess despite the need to scrutinise the Government's response to the economic crisis. She warns that parliamentary sessions are now so short "it feels as if we are hardly working".