How French MPs finally voted to clean up their act


The much-trumpeted law to improve morality in public life and restore public confidence in the nation's elected representatives has passed its key hurdle in the French Parliament. The two key measures voted for by Members of the National Assembly were the ban on MPs employing members of their own family, and an obligation to produce receipts for expenses. After 50 hours of sometimes lively debate and 800 amendments, MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour – even if some on the Right called it an act of “masochism”. Mathilde Mathieu reports.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

It took the favourite for the French presidency – François Fillon – to explode in mid-candidacy and for an outsider who had never held elected office - Emmanuel Macron - to win the Elysée for France's National Assembly (75% of whose MPs are new) to decide to take real action against the abuse of public money inside that institution. In the early hours of Saturday, July 29th, the nation's lower chamber did just that, voting overwhelmingly for President Macron's flagship law on the “moralization” of public life. France's upper chamber the Senate has already backed it in principle. The two key measures in this proposed new law are the ban on Parliamentarians employing family members and the agreement that Parliamentarians will have to produce receipts for their expenses.