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 6:45 pm on 27th October 2014.

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Photo of Kevan Jones Kevan Jones Shadow Minister (Defence) 6:45 pm, 27th October 2014

I agree. I would not consider myself to be in the same class as the hon. Member for Richmond Park, for example. The fact is—[Interruption.] I am not antagonising my constituents, as Pete Wishart says from a sedentary position. Most Members of Parliament get elected to try to do the best for their constituencies, and it is insulting to say they do not. I may disagree politically with other Members of this House—of all shades—but the majority are in politics not only to do what they can to help their constituents, but to make the world a better place as they see it. The same was true of my time in local government; I think I met only one or two rogues—who were perhaps in politics for different reasons—when I was a councillor. It is a bit patronising for people to dismiss that point.

We must get back to recognising that standing for elected office is a noble thing that people should strive for, not just in this place but in councils and elsewhere. I respect anyone who has the guts to stand for election. Many commentators criticise what MPs do, but if they were asked if they would stand for election and be subject to such scrutiny not only at election time but throughout the life of a Parliament, not many would say yes. We must recognise the value of standing for elected office.