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Amendments to the Code of Conduct

– in the House of Commons at 6:02 pm on 23rd June 2020.

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Votes in this debate

In the Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament (HC (2017–19) 1882):

(1) in paragraph 19, at end add “and for the Independent Expert Panel acting in accordance with Standing Order (Independent Expert Panel) in relation to the determination of cases under the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme.”.

(2) in paragraph 21; at end add “Failure to comply with a sanction imposed by a sub-panel of the Independent Expert Panel shall be treated as a breach of the Code.”.—(Mr Rees-Mogg.)

Amendment proposed to motion 5: (a) in section D, paragraph (2), leave out

“not later than one hour after the commencement of such proceedings.”

and add “forthwith.”.—(Chris Bryant.)

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The House proceeded to a Division.

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton Deputy Speaker (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

I ask all hon. Members other than Front Benchers and Tellers to leave the Chamber by the doors behind me. Members should join the queue to vote in Westminster Hall. To vote, Members should enter the Lobby and swipe their pass on one of the pass readers.

Division number 58 Amendments to the Code of Conduct

Aye: 239 MPs

No: 235 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

The House having divided: Ayes 243, Noes 238.

Question accordingly agreed to.

The list of Members currently certified as eligible for a proxy vote, and of the Members nominated as their proxy, is published at the end of today’s debates.

Main Question, as amended, put and agreed to.

Ordered,

That the following Standing Orders, amendments to standing orders and amendments to the Code of Conduct be made:

A. Independent Expert Panel

(1) There shall be a Panel, to be known as the Independent Expert Panel for the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (the “ICGS”), whose members shall be appointed by the House in accordance with Standing Order (Appointment of Independent Expert Panel Members).

(2) The Panel shall consist of eight members, of whom a quorum shall be four.

(3) The functions of the Panel shall be:

(a) to determine the appropriate sanction in ICGS cases referred to it by the Parliamentary Commissioner on Standards;

(b) to hear appeals against the decisions of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards in respect of ICGS cases involving Members of this House;

(c) to hear appeals against a sanction imposed under paragraph (a);

(d) to report from time to time, through the Clerk of the House, on the operation of the ICGS as it relates to Members of this House

(4) The Panel may elect its own Chair.

(5) The responsibilities of the Chair shall include:

(a) ensuring that the Panel and its sub-panels comply with the provisions of the relevant resolutions and standing orders of this House;

(b) the appointment of sub-panels to consider individual cases;

(c) co-ordinating the work of the Panel with that of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards;

(d) referring any report from a sub-panel which determines a sanction that can only be imposed by the House to the Clerk of the House who shall lay it upon the Table of the House;

(e) informing the parties concerned of the outcome of any other case reported to the Chair by a sub-panel and ensuring compliance as appropriate with its recommendations;

(f) establishing the procedure for an appeal against the findings or determination of a sub-panel in cases referred under (3)(a) above;

(g) reporting to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards any case of noncompliance under sub-paragraph (e) above by a Member of this House;

(h) ensuring publication of an Annual Report on the functioning of the Panel and its sub-panels by referring the report to the Clerk of the House for laying on the Table.

(6) The Panel and any sub-panel shall have power

(a) to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House;

(b) to order the attendance of any Member before it and to require that specific documents or records in the possession of a Member relating to its inquiries, or to the inquiries of the Commissioner, be laid before it;

(c) to appoint legal advisers, and to appoint specialist advisers either to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the Panel’s order of reference.

B. Independent Expert Panel: Sub-panels

(1) Cases referred to the Independent Expert Panel under Standing Order (Independent Expert Panel) shall be considered by a sub-panel appointed under paragraph (5)(b) of that order.

(2) A sub-panel shall consist of three members of the Panel and shall have a quorum of three.

(3) Sub-panels shall sit in private.

(4) A sub-panel may request the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to conduct further investigations in respect of a case referred to it and may specify the matters to be covered in that investigation.

(5) In respect of each case referred to it, a sub-panel shall make a report of its findings to the Chair of the Panel.

(6) Where an appeal is made against a finding or determination of a sanction by a sub-panel, a new sub-panel shall be established to hear that appeal. No member shall be eligible to hear an appeal against the decision of a sub-panel on which they have served.

C. Appointment of Independent Expert Panel Members

(1) Members of the Independent Expert Panel shall be appointed by a resolution of the House on a motion made under the provisions of this order and shall remain as members in accordance with the provisions of this order.

(2) The period of appointment of each member shall be specified in the resolution of the House for appointment and shall not exceed six years. The appointment of a member is not terminated by any dissolution of Parliament.

(3) No person who has once been a member may be appointed for a further term.

(4) No person may be appointed as a member if that person is or has been a Member of this House or a Member of the House of Lords; and any person so appointed shall cease to be a member upon becoming a Member of this House or of the House of Lords.

(5) No person may be appointed as a member unless that person has been selected on the basis of a fair and open competition.

(6) A person appointed as a member may resign as a member by giving notice to the House of Commons Commission.

(7) A person appointed as a member shall be dismissed from that position only following a resolution of the House, after the House of Commons Commission has reported that it is satisfied that the person should cease to be a member; and any such report shall include a statement of the Commission’s reasons for its conclusion.

(8) No motion may be made under the provisions of this order unless—

(a) notice of the motion has been given at least two sitting days previously, and

(b) the motion is made on behalf of the House of Commons Commission by a Member of the Commission.

(9) The Speaker shall put the questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on motions made under the provisions of this order not later than one hour after the commencement of those proceedings.

(10) Business to which this order applies may be proceeded with at any hour, though opposed.

D. Motions consequent on the ICGS

(1) A motion may be moved by a member of the House of Commons Commission to implement a sanction in respect of an individual ICGS case determined by a sub-panel of the Independent Expert Panel.

(2) The Speaker shall put the questions necessary to dispose of proceedings on a motion under paragraph (1) of this order forthwith.

(3) Business under this order may be proceeded with until any hour, though opposed.