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 4:56 pm on 27th October 2014.

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Photo of Zac Goldsmith Zac Goldsmith Conservative, Richmond Park 4:56 pm, 27th October 2014

I will in just a moment. The notice of intent to recall is the least formal part of this process and exists only for one reason: to ensure that where a recall petition happens, there is a genuine demand for it, and not only among a small handful of local cranks. The threshold is about right, but I have said to the Opposition and party colleagues that if they seek to raise it on Report, I would be happy to support that in the interests of achieving meaningful reform.

The third concern relates to the fear that Members would face endless recall attempts, amounting almost to a form of harassment, an issue raised several times in last week’s debate. I see no need for a limit, as the experience of recall around the world shows that its use is extremely rare and that it is used only in extreme circumstances. In 100 years of recall in the United States, where there are virtually no financial controls or controls on broadcasters and so on, it has happened only 20 times. There have been 40 recall referendums—