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Cann helps make changes in Commons

PUBLISHED: 15:46 17 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:21 03 March 2010

REBEL Ipswich MP Jamie Cann has been back in the House of Commons after helping to force the government into a humiliating change in its relationship with parliament.

REBEL Ipswich MP Jamie Cann was today back in the House of Commons after helping to force the government into a humiliating change in its relationship with parliament.

Mr Cann, who was the first Labour MP to vote against the Government in the last Parliament, was one of 116 Labour backbenchers who voted against government plans to sack two popular Committee Chairmen, Donald Anderson and Gwyneth Dunwoody.

They joined with opposition MPs to force the government to backtrack – a switch that seems certain to increase the power of parliament.

The leader of the House of Commons, Robin Cook, has already indicated that in future the membership of committees will be determined by parliament rather than by government whips.

Today the Ipswich MP was meeting visitors at the House of Commons before taking part in more debates.

"The select committees are there to monitor what the government is doing.

"They are there to serve the House of Commons, to hold the government to account – not to do what the government wants," he said.

"Donald Anderson and Gwyneth Dunwoody were two very well respected committee chairmen and it was wrong for them to be sacked by the government.

"Select committees exist to criticise the government if necessary," he said.

Mr Cann said he did not expect to get into trouble with government whips for rebelling last night. "There are too many of us for them to worry," he said.

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