Clause 1 — How an MP becomes subject to a recall petition process

Part of Bill Presented — International Trade Agreements (Scrutiny) – in the House of Commons at 7:30 pm on 27th October 2014.

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Photo of Geraint Davies Geraint Davies Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Substitute Member) 7:30 pm, 27th October 2014

The point about Chris Mullin is well made. Different people with different temperaments in different situations, with different constituencies with different profiles and majorities, will face different stresses and strains—not just actual and in your face, but behind the scenes. As I have said, that might have a very corrosive influence on democracy itself, and we should stand fully against it.

All of us like to think that despite pressure behind the scenes or otherwise, one would put principle before popularity. With fixed-term Parliaments, we know that we will have five years of making difficult decisions, but have the time to explain such things. However, we might be faced with instant demands or pressures, which—let us face it—might be orchestrated by political parties against those in particularly marginal seats. There would be issue after issue, and requests to do this and to do that. People from 38 Degrees, or whatever it is called, are just the tip of the iceberg. Lots of other groups would insist on the immediate satisfaction of their demands. It is easy to get groups of people to send in letters without their thinking through the issues. It would all become a sort of crowd mentality, and before we knew it, people who should be MPs would be intimated and not stand, and it would also interfere with the quality of people who came forward.