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

Even if my right hon. Friend had received not a single letter in support of recall, that would not change my own commitment to trying to secure this very minor but nevertheless meaningful reform.

The key point that I plead with Members to consider is that people can be trusted. They are not a mob of fools who are easily driven to the polling booths by manipulative media barons; they are our friends, our neighbours and our family. They can tell the difference between the rare examples of misbehaviour or betrayal so egregious that justice demands recall and the much more frequent instances of legitimate disagreements on policy or of trivial, minor foolishness. Although he spoke against recall very well last week, I think that Frank Dobson made that point himself, albeit inadvertently, when he said that his predecessor could easily have been recalled because of her views on abortion—she represented a largely Catholic seat—but she won seven elections, and in each one her majority grew. Voters are like us: they can respect and support someone without having to agree on every single issue. Very few people in this world are motivated purely by one concern over one issue.