Member Recalls

Oral Answers to Questions — Deputy Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 8th January 2013.

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Photo of Ian Murray Ian Murray Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills) 11:30 am, 8th January 2013

When the Government plan to bring forward proposals on the recall of hon. Members.

Photo of Nick Clegg Nick Clegg The Deputy Prime Minister , Lord President of the Council (Privy Council Office), Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Happy new year, Mr Speaker.

The Government published our proposals on the recall of MPs last year, and the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee then published its report in June last year. We submitted an interim response reaffirming our commitment to establishing a recall mechanism and are now taking the proper time to reflect on the Committee’s recommendations.

Photo of Ian Murray Ian Murray Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)

Happy new year, Mr Speaker. I thank the Deputy Prime Minister for that unvarnished answer. Given that one of the justifications for introducing recall is improved confidence in our democracy, what is his view of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee’s statement:

“We are not convinced that the proposals will increase public confidence in politics”?

Photo of Nick Clegg Nick Clegg The Deputy Prime Minister , Lord President of the Council (Privy Council Office), Leader of the Liberal Democrats

The Committee made a number of recommendations about our proposals, but equally it accepted that all parties had made a manifesto commitment to introduce some kind of recall mechanism and acknowledged, as I think everyone does, the difficulty in trying to define serious wrongdoing precisely and determine who should define it and who should set off a trigger for a recall by-election. It is precisely those kinds of difficult dilemmas that we are now trying to address, because we do not want to resile from the commitment to legislate to introduce some kind of recall mechanism.