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Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Sutton and Cheam, Emily Brothers has criticised her Lib Dem, Paul Burstow MP, for failing to support measures to allow local residents to seek the recall of their MP on the grounds of misconduct. She said:
“I support the principle of right to recall when an MP has done something wrong.
Labour has long championed this and it was in our last manifesto. I think it is one of the ways we can empower the electorate and help restore public trust in politics.
“I’m very concerned that Paul Burstow has failed to recognise the importance the electorate place on MP’s accountability. Dodging public demand for MP’s to be held to account better is both feeble and disingenuous.
“I think it is important to find a way to build public confidence in a recall process because it will provide a mechanism completely independent of the Houses of Parliament and Members themselves.
“I’m not in favour of a form of recall that would let an MP be removed from parliament for any reason, not just misconduct. Labour voted against such proposals because they would have given too much power to well-funded interest groups to pressure MPs into supporting their agenda with a constant threat of recall petitions.
“I think it is critical that MPs are able to vote with their conscience on the issues of the day and then face the electorate at a General Election. A balance must be drawn between giving the people the opportunity to recall an MP for misconduct and allowing MP’s to make difficult decisions that might anger certain groups.
“If Parliament can find a workable way of creating a public trigger for recall when an MP has done something wrong, Labour will work to toughen up the rest of the government’s proposals. This will hopefully establish a system of recall that commands public trust and ensures people don’t have to wait until the General Election to get rid of their MP when they have done something seriously wrong.”
The Recall Bill passed its Second Reading stage in the House of Commons on Tuesday 21 October, and had a day of consideration in committee on Monday 27 October, 2014. During committee stage, Labour’s frontbench proposed some amendments to strengthen the Bill. These would have reduced the number of days of suspension from the House which would trigger the recall process and would have widened the scope of offences caught by the Bill. The Government indicated they would accept three of these amendments - to include within the scope of the Bill offences committed but not convicted prior to the Bill coming in to force, to lower the suspension threshold and also to trigger recall for all convictions for fiddling expenses fraud.
Labour has made clear that we want to find a way to support the suggestion from backbencher David Heath and others to provide a trigger for recall in the case of misconduct that the public can instigate. Labour favours this suggestion and is committed to working through the detail of how this would operate in practice.






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