Graham Allen MP, Chair of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, has welcomed today’s publication by the Prime Minister of the Cabinet Manual, described by the Cabinet Office as “the ultimate user’s guide to government”:
“My committee looked at the Manual earlier this year, when the Government published it in draft for consultation. We described it at the time as ‘a highly significant document’ and its creation and publication as ‘most welcome signs of openness and transparency’. I very much welcome the publication of the final version of the Manual today. I am pleased to see that the Government has taken on board many of our recommendations in this version, especially the need for the Manual to reflect Parliament’s role in decisions to commit forces to military action.
“I am disappointed, however, given the importance of the Manual, that the Government is not willing to give Parliament a role in approving its content, or even to schedule a parliamentary debate on it. I have written to the Cabinet Secretary requesting a meeting to propose how Parliament can take up its appropriate place in scrutinising the Government action that arises from the Manual.”