Sanctions in Respect of the Conduct of Members (ICGS Cases)

– in the House of Commons at 5:36 pm on 21st April 2021.

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Resolved,

That this House approves the following arrangements for sanctions in cases of bullying, harassment or sexual misconduct by Members following an investigation under the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme:

(1) The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards shall have power to instigate informal discussions with a Member to indicate concern about the Member’s reported attitude, behaviour or conduct; to require a Member to attend a formal meeting at which the Commissioner may indicate concern about or give words of advice on the Member’s reported attitude, behaviour or conduct; and require an apology in writing, or on the floor of the House by means of a point of order or a personal statement;

(2) The Independent Expert Panel shall have power to impose the following sanctions on its own authority:

(a) requiring a Member to attend training or enter into a behaviour agreement;

(b) withdrawal of services and facilities from a Member, and imposing other personal restrictions including on travel, where this will not affect the core functions of a Member [footnote to be inserted here: “The core functions of a Member are defined as (a) participation in the formal proceedings of the House or its committees, and (b) their ability to communicate with and make representations on behalf of their constituents. If the Panel is in any doubt as to whether a sanction would interfere with core functions, they are expected to seek the views of the House authorities where appropriate, and to err in their decision on the side of caution, i.e. to recommend that imposition of a sanction should be decided by the House itself if there is any reasonable doubt in the matter.”];

(c) for non-Members, subject to the approval of the Speaker, withdrawal of Parliamentary passes, either indefinitely or for a fixed period.

The Panel may determine the following sanctions for decision by the House:

(d) withdrawal of services and facilities from a Member, and imposing other personal restrictions including on travel, where this will affect the core functions of a Member, and where the sanction reflects the nature of the offence [footnote to be inserted here: “See previous footnote.”];

(e) dismissal from a select committee;

(f) suspension from the service of the House for a specified period (during which time the Member receives no salary and must withdraw from the precincts of the House);

(g) withholding of a Member’s salary or allowances even if he or she has not been suspended;

(h) in the most serious cases, expulsion from the House. —(Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg.)