Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:41 pm on 17th July 2019.

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Photo of Justin Madders Justin Madders Labour, Ellesmere Port and Neston 5:41 pm, 17th July 2019

I will not speak for too long, because I am sure the House has heard enough from me today, but I have a couple of queries, following what I said in the previous debate about this only being a staging post to our final destination.

The Gemma White report says that

“contributors to this inquiry have expressed considerable concern about using the new procedures and scepticism as to what the ICGS can realistically achieve. Many of them told me they would not contemplate making a complaint under the new ICGS procedure, because it would be ‘career suicide’…
Some are concerned about the independence of the ICGS process…
and the lack of clarity as to the sanctions which could be imposed on an MP.”

Those are still the issues with getting a process that we and, most importantly, staff can be confident in. Until we have a process that does not involve Members at all—I appreciate that work is going on in respect of that—staff will feel a bit inhibited in making a complaint.

The other issue is sanctions. I am not at all clear, and I hope the Leader of the House can clarify when he responds, what sanctions will be levied against an MP for a complaint being upheld under this procedure. For the procedure to have the confidence of staff, it must have proper sanctions.