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 6:00 pm on 27th October 2014.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of David Heath David Heath Liberal Democrat, Somerton and Frome 6:00 pm, 27th October 2014

The hon. Gentleman might take a different view, but my personal view is that the general election process is where these things are decided, not on a single issue, but on the performance of the Member and the plurality of views that are expressed. To have a form of Athenian democracy in this country, where we have constant voting and constant re-election, does not seem to—[Interruption.] Douglas Carswell is burbling from a sedentary position, but I do not think his party had anything about recall in its last manifesto, so perhaps he needs a further recall now, because if he votes for a recall provision this evening, he will be breaking his election pledge not to have one; I do not know.

Let us move on. I personally do not think that what Richard Fuller described is in the interests of the sort of representative democracy that we have always enjoyed in this country. However, I do think—I feel this very strongly and have argued it passionately, both before the election and since—that we need to find a way of capturing those examples of misconduct that are not necessarily caught by the criminal law and might not attract the attention of the Standards Committee, or, even if they do, where the public do not accept that as a mechanism.