London: With the possibility of a hung
parliament looking strong, proposals are being drafted to
allow Gordon Brown remain the British premier for an extra
period to form a working government after the general election
The contingency plans have been drawn up by officials to
prevent a constitutional crisis and a run on the pound if any
party fails to win a clear majority, reports said.
Under the proposals, the parliament may not reconvene for
nearly three weeks to allow the prime minister to form a
working government with the minority parties. Normally, the
parliament is convened again in six days.
The Guardian said quoting senior official sources that
Brown could remain prime minister and try to create a working
majority even if the Tories were to win most seats.
The report said it has also been agreed that for the
first time the civil service will be able to facilitate talks
between the Labour or the Tories and the minority parties on
forming a coalition.
The civil service will not be allowed to provide policy
advice, but will be able to draw up papers on potential policy
overlap between the parties.
The Queen may also have to play a role in the event of a
hung parliament, it said.
Under existing rules, she could urge the political
parties not to hold a second poll if it is not deemed to be in
the national economic interest, or there is little sign that
it will produce a different result.
A series of opinion polls have suggested Britain is
heading for a hung parliament, and the civil service,
Buckingham Palace and political parties are anxious to codify
the rules and conventions surrounding a hung parliament to
The head of the civil service, Sir Gus O'Donnell, updated
a manual yesterday which sets out how the key players are
expected to act if no party can instantly form a government.
First Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 17:53