PM says constitutional proposals may have to wait

Gordon Brown has said that his plans to give parliament greater control over powers previously held by the prime minister may have to be delayed in light of the terrorist threat facing the country.

Mr Brown’s plans include removing the power of the prime minister to declare war without prior approval by parliament, giving MPs the right to ratify international treaties and investigate the procedures by which honours are granted and the introduction of parliamentary hearings to discuss appointments to key public posts.

But speaking on BBC1’s Sunday AM programme about the constitutional announcement scheduled for Monday, Mr Brown said: “The priority for parliament tomorrow will be a statement on security.

“It may be we will have to move that statement on the constitution until later in the week.”

Under the proposals MPs are also likely to be given the power to recall a parliament in recess in the advent of a national emergency.

Mr Brown also intends to draw up a bill of rights and to transfer the power to appoint bishops and deans to the Church of England.

During his term as chancellor of the exchequer, Gordon Brown made a landmark change by transferring control of interest rates from the executive to the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee.