Clause 4 — Effect of ceasing to be a member

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:45 am on 28th February 2014.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Conservative, North East Somerset 11:45 am, 28th February 2014

Amendments 19 and 21 aim to deal with the issue of Members of the House of Lords going from the Lords to the Commons. As the Bill was initially drafted and as we debated it on Second Reading, it would have been possible to have a revolving door or ping-pong back and forth, depending which phrase is preferred. It would have been possible for someone to leave the Commons, go to the Lords, leave the Lords, come back to the Commons and go back to the Lords again. I am glad to say that that was amended in Committee, which has at least to some degree ameliorated the situation. But there is a problem with the House of Lords being changed into a place that can be used as a way of preparing people for political life before bringing them to the Commons. As more and more professional politicians come through—I know this is a matter of concern to the electorate—people can have the following career path: becoming special advisers, going to the Lords and then coming to the Commons, without any real pause in-between. As the Bill stands, it would be possible to resign a seat in the Lords immediately before the close of nominations for the House of Commons at a general election