Weekly Parliament Roundup: 5th -10th January

‘Empty chair’ threat for Cameron if he doesn’t participate in TV debate

Miliband, Clegg and Farage have recently expressed the fact that they are ready to ‘’empty chair’’ David Cameron by going ahead with the leaders’ election debates on TV without Cameron if he keeps on stressing upon his demand that the Green Party leader Natalie Bennet also takes part. The leaders’ wishes might come true as Ofcom and the TV broadcasters are able to legally ‘’empty chair’’ Cameron, as long as his views are represented within the debate. Cameron’s recent insistence on the Green Party joining the debate if he is to participate has been seen by the other leaders as his attempt to go Green again and that this is his ‘’Naked device to sabotage the TV debates, by tying up the broadcasters in interminable red tape’’.

Ed Miliband plans four million doorstep visits in bid for No 10

Ed Miliband is urging Labour activists to carry out four million conversations with members of the public before the general election in May. According to Miliband, carrying out four million conversations with the public is twice more than they did in 2010 and it will be more than any other British political party has tried before. He claims that, “We will win this election, not by buying up thousands of poster sites, but by having millions of conversations,”.

Merkel pays a visit to the UK

This week, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel came to the UK on a flying visit, one which was seen to be one of Cameron’s most important meetings in office. The main reasons why Merkel came to visit was to discuss her agenda for the G7 summit in Bavaria, including the European economy and security issues such as the Ukraine crisis, the Ebola response and the threat from the Islamic State and not to forget- Cameron’s demand for EU treaty changes regarding free movement in the EU, work and welfare. Merkel has already insists that the freedom of movement in the EU is ‘non-negotiable’ and because of this, she will likely do what she can to keep Britain in the EU but these actions might be limited. According to the Financial Times, the German Chancellor is expected to back Cameron’s calls for reforms but also remind him that Germany will not back any British demands for a major rewrite of existing EU treaties.

Clegg stays in Coalition despite distaste of Osborne’s measures

Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader, ruled out giving up the trappings of coalition office before election day – despite engaging in open warfare with the Conservatives over Chancellor George Osborne’s austerity plans. Clegg told MPs at Deputy Prime Minister’s Question Time that he takes pride in the government’s achievements even though “I disagree with the Conservative Party’s approach to carrying on with the cuts even after the deficit has been dealt with.” In other words, despite attacking Cameron and and his team, Clegg will continue in his role as Deputy Prime Minister until polling day, as will the other Lib Dem members of the coalition Cabinet.

Gloria Ganda

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