Results 141–160 of 2484 for speaker:Julian Huppert

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: We will see what happens in the Division, but will the Minister assure us that the Government, with all their advice and lawyers, will seek to come up with a more workable proposal in the other place if we cannot get our proposal through in this place?

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: The Minister is making an interesting point, but is it not the case that an MP taking any other action that was not a criminal offence under Scots law but was such an offence in Westminster could be punished for committing it in England but not for doing it in Scotland?

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: Let me be clear that I have never said that I do not think the new clause is in a fit and proper state. There were some problems with the previous version, but I think that it is now in a good state. I dare say, however, that their lordships could tweak it.

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to point out the errors in what I wrote on Lib Dem Voice and he will be pleased to know that it has been corrected, but in such a way that one can still see the original. I am not trying to hide the fact that I made an error. The bit that was not fit and proper was that aspect of the article on Lib Dem Voice and the new clause is still quite clear. The...

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: The hon. Gentleman makes an interesting point. He will be aware, of course, that there is an existing process whereby an individual or group—perhaps well funded—can bring a case to an election court. There is no appeal; there is judicial review. It has far more powers, because it may not only deny a Member their seat, after potentially expensive processes, but ban them from standing for...

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: I am following carefully what the hon. Gentleman is saying. Could not exactly the same be said of his point about expenses for parliamentarians? There is a similar issue with very specific offences that relate to fundamental aspects of the role, where conviction, even if not imprisonment, has to be taken seriously.

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: The hon. Gentleman said that a mistake, even an honest one, will not suffice. Does he actually think that MPs should be subject to recall just because they have made an honest mistake?

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: The other point the hon. Gentleman could make is that his party’s manifesto specified that recall would be only for MPs found responsible for financial misconduct. So his proposal is entirely in keeping with his manifesto, as our proposal is with our manifesto commitment. Indeed, the surprise is that none of the major parties had something analogous to that which seems to be pushed by so many.

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: As ever, the hon. Gentleman makes a very interesting point, but the new clause does not suggest changes to the code of conduct or making it subject to court proceedings, so his point does not apply to this new clause. I think that new clause 2 has been substantially improved to address the criticisms levelled in Committee —we can have the discussion about the code of conduct at another...

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: It still starts with 500 people and ends with 15% of the public making the decision. We have to strike a balance—we discussed this in Committee, and I do not want to give a blow-by-blow account of that very long debate—over whether there should be any constraints at all and whether there can be any trivial or vexatious cases. That is the difference. In Minnesota, several cases have been...

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: I will have to check the wording of the article—[Interruption.] Sorry, I am not challenging the hon. Gentleman; it is possible, in writing it so speedily, that I miswrote it, because that is certainly not what it ought to say. That is not how it ought to work, and if I wrote that, it was my mistake and I apologise to him and anyone else who read it. I will check it as soon as I have a...

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: I think the right hon. Gentleman’s point is answered by amendment 8, which has a fuller definition of misconduct. I hope he will have a chance to take a look at that precise point. Amendment 24 adds another recall trigger: if a Member has been convicted of an offence under the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009—providing false or misleading information for allowances claims—whether or not...

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: May I apologise to the House for the absence of my hon. Friend the Member for Somerton and Frome (Mr Heath)—not yet a right hon. Member, despite the praise that was heaped on him in Committee—who is currently acting as our trade envoy in Africa and is unable to be here? My apology is that Members will have to put up with me arguing the case, rather than him. This is an important Bill. It...

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: I am wary of straying into the debate we had in Committee because there was a huge amount of discussion about that and the House reached a decision. It is about finding a balance and ensuring that we avoid trivial or vexatious cases, while capturing the power for the public. The other deficiency in the proposals by the hon. Member for Richmond Park was that it was a complex, multi-stage...

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: I am not a lawyer; I dropped out of studying law after my first year because my exams coincided with the general election, so I bow to the hon. Gentleman’s expertise in how litigious lawyers can be and how they will seek to make money out of whatever proposals there may be. I do not agree, however, that the new clauses will lead to a huge amount of litigation, so allow me to outline how I...

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: The wording is exactly the wording there would be for misconduct. First, that offence does not exist in Scotland or Northern Ireland. I will come on to that later with an example, but there are some issues. We would want Members to be equal, broadly speaking, regardless of where they have been elected from. The other issue is that although the offence of misconduct in public office is used...

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: We have put in provisions so that, in the event of criminal proceedings, they would take precedence and the recall process would be stayed while that was happening, so I think we have addressed that. As I will go on to say, there is a very similar model already in use in the US and that does not seem to have the same sorts of problems that the hon. Gentleman describes. On other changes we...

Recall of MPs Bill: New Clause 2 — Recall condition: method of petitioning an election court (24 Nov 2014)

Julian Huppert: First, just because somebody can be recalled does not mean they would automatically be recalled. How to phrase that in the code would be an interesting question. Trying to have repeated recalls of those Members would be a somewhat futile and repetitive exercise, as it was with the case of Charles Bradlaugh, the Member for Northampton. He was elected three times as an atheist and refused to...


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