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

Precisely. If one’s defence is, “I’m not a murderer,” all that people hear is the word “murderer”. Clearly, enough charges might be brought against a person who is targeted for whatever reason, perhaps by a political party or financial interest that knows someone else can be put in if they are got out of the way. The example has been given of the American gun lobby displacing someone who wanted to improve people’s protection against guns and replacing them with someone who was clearly in the gun lobby’s pocket. Once a few heads had rolled in various constituencies over time, other MPs would think, “I don’t want to end up like Harry or Harriet”, or whoever it happens to be, and we would get into all sorts of difficulties.

We should guard against the rush to populism in the amendments of the hon. Member for Richmond Park. We should uphold judgment and principle, rather than quick popularity. I find the amendments very worrying, which is why I wanted to speak on this issue.