Brown may get extra time as PM in case of hung parliament
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Last Updated: Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 17:53
  
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 in May.

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 prevent confusion.

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.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 17:53


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