In opposition, nearly every politician talks about the dangers of an over-mighty executive. But office has a habit of changing peoples’ views on this subject. Charles Walker’s amendment (which he discusses over at ConservativeHome, here) to match any reduction in the number of MPs with an equivalent reduction in the number of ministers, so that the proportional size of the payroll vote remains the same, is an early test of whether office has begun to erode Cameron’s commitment to a proper balance between the executive and the legislature.
If a reduction in the number of MPs is not matched by a reduction in the number of ministers, then the executive will become more powerful and the House more of a creature of it. The House will be willing – and able – to hold ministers to account.