First it was off. Now three weeks later it’s back on again. But the MP recall law promised by both coalition parties won’t actually allow voters to recall their MPs, David Cameron admitted in PMQs earlier.

In the golden light of the post-expenses scandal dawn, we were told in party manifestos and the Coalition agreement that we would be getting:

“a power of ‘recall’ to allow electors to kick out MPs, a power that will be triggered by proven serious wrongdoing”

But proposals drawn up by Nick Clegg and backed by Cameron (for now) will only allow voters a say in the matter with the prior approval not from the Standards Commissioner but, errrr, other MPs — with a full Commons vote required to determine what is “serious wrongdoing”.

Perhaps Tim “we need to see the detail” Farron can explain how these ‘circular firing squad’ proposals would have functioned during the expenses crisis:

First there was the Lobbying Bill that did nothing about lobbying. Now we have the Recall Bill that doesn’t allow voter recall.

  1. “with the prior approval not from the Standards Commissioner but, errrr, other MPs — with a full Commons vote required to determine what is “serious wrongdoing”.”

    So turkeys will vote for Christmas and pigs will fly?

    If this report is true, it makes MPs look like the shysters they usually are..

  2. Andrew Smith says:

    You have to wonder why the press and media do not make more of the evasiveness and plain lies about this issue. Recall should apply to all elected representatives and to all Quango chairmen.

    Maybe UKIP will include this policy when their manifesto is re-issued?

  3. come on zac do the decent thing and resign and force a by election on the issue, then lets see those evasive MPs avoid answering why it should be them who decides and not their constituents how bad some MPs wrong doing was.

  4. Why should constituents need prior approval even from the Standards Commissioner, let alone other MPs? Recall-elections should be triggered by a percentage of constituents signing a petition within a set time period (for example, 5 percent within three weeks). This would rob MPs of safe seats and enable voters to put pressure on their local MP if they disliked a particular policy (e.g. invading Iraq or signing Lisbon). This one simple change would have a galvanising effect on politics in this country.

  5. If Britain wants a truly democratic system it has to completely restructure the body politic.

    The PM and his executive needs to be directly elected and separated as far as possible from the parliament that is supposed to scrutinise and control his actions. The lower house can remain as it is but the upper house needs to become an elected body with elections structured in such a way as to prevent it being a rubber stamp.

    And, of course, all elected officials and representatives need to know that their actions can lead to their being recalled to face their electorates.

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