Mark Field MP has answered your questions on today’s interviews blog. In his answer to a question from ‘Harlequin.dane’ he writes:
"Since the expulsion of most of the hereditary peers, I have, in principle, favoured the option of a fully or largely-elected House of Lords. However, I recognise that such an outcome is unlikely to be within the realms of practical politics, not least as the House of Lords as currently constituted is likely to be hostile and there would be little agreement as to the timing or form of elections. I would prefer to see the creation of a completely new federal parliament. Four, full, national parliaments in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with most of the existing powers of the House of Commons and over them a federal United Kingdom parliament, which would debate defence and foreign affairs, make treaties and administer a cohesion fund for the poorer parts of the UK. It would be funded by a per GDP levy on the national parliaments. There would be no need for extra politicians, as the national parliaments would send representatives to the UK parliament and meet together for its debates, which could be held in the old House of Lords chamber. I appreciate it is a bold, indeed a radical, suggestion but I believe that the only way to restore the balance of the British constitution, which had served us so well for so long, is to offer the British people this fairer alternative in a referendum once we have won the next election."
Brown’s Scottishness does not yet appear to have undermined him in any serious way with English voters but there are a number of CCHQ tacticians – and key figures at The Daily Telegraph – who think ‘the English card’ is the best way of putting David Cameron into Downing Street. David Cameron raised the West Lothian question in his first parliamentary encounter with Brown and backbench Tory MPs have pummeled Mr Brown on the issue at PMQs.
In the Q&A Mark also critiques the A-list:
"Whilst I strongly agree that the Conservative Party should reach out to embrace a broader range of candidates, my biggest objection to the ‘A List’ (and any other Party list system such as applies for European elections) is that it encourages many Conservative candidates and future MPs to regard their role first and foremost as a mouthpiece for the Party leadership or CCHQ. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the constitutional role of a backbencher, which is to hold the Executive to account (a role every bit as important for government MPs as it is for Opposition backbenchers as this country has learnt to its detriment over the past decade)."