David Heath MP, Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Somerton and Frome

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David Heath: Speaker's resignation long-awaited

David Heath today welcomed the announcement that the Speaker of the House, Michael Martin, will step down from his role.

Mr Martin is in charge of Commons administration and has come under scrutiny for the way in which he has handled MP's expenses in recent weeks.

The Speaker has faced much criticism within the House of Commons with many senior MPs calling for his resignation.

Following a statement on MPs' expenses made by the speaker to the House of Commons yesterday, David Heath told Mr Martin: “the statement you have made would have been extremely welcome had it been made a few weeks or months ago, but I have very grave doubts, given the appalling situation in which we find ourselves that any action taken by Members of this House will restore the trust that we need.”

Speaking today Mr Heath said: “It was essential that the Speaker of the House stood down today. We are in desperate need of reform and this was not going to happen under Michael Martin. However we should not use him as a scapegoat for the wrong doings of MPs because it was well within individual MPs consciences to have considered their actions when filling out their expenses forms.

"The Speaker has been a symptom of a culture in Parliament that I have been speaking out against for years. As far as I am concerned Members who have put this House into disrepute by blocking attempts at transparency should no longer be allowed to lead.”

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