On the 7th July, a cross-party group of MPs met in Parliament to finalise a genuine Recall Bill that would give voters the power to remove MPs if they lose the confidence of a majority of their voters.
The committee of 22 MPs from seven political parties was assembled by Zac Goldsmith, and chaired by Former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis MP. It included the former Chief Whip, Andrew Mitchell, ex Health Minister Paul Burstow MP and former Labour Minister MP Kate Hoey. The MPs met for three hours to finalise their draft alternative Recall Bill in which the public can have confidence.
Today The Recall of Elected Representatives Bill has been formally tabled in Parliament:
Opposition to the Government’s proposed recall legislation has been growing, with numerous campaign groups and MPs from all parties saying it falls dramatically short of voter expectations. More than 70 MPs from all parties signed a Recall Motion tabled by Zac Goldsmith calling for a genuine Recall system.
Under the Government’s version of Recall, an MP could only be recalled if he/she goes to jail, or if he./she is expelled from the Commons for 21 days. Additionally, the criteria are so narrow as to render it highly unlikely any MP could be recalled
The alternative Recall Bill gives constituents the power to sack their MP. It has been shaped by nearly 40,000 members of the public who have responded to a detailed survey issued by 38 Degrees, and raised funds to hire an expert lawyer to help draft the Bill.
Speaking about the Bill, Zac Goldsmith MP said “Recall is supposed to be about empowering voters to hold their MPs to account, and the Government’s proposals fall scandalously short. They don’t empower voters in any meaningful sense at all, and at the very first scandal, they will realise they have been duped. This highly successful cross-party Committee demonstrated that even if some Party leaders have no appetite for reform, parliament does.
He added; “We have formally tabled the Bill, and will use it as the basis for radical amendment of the Government’s version.”
David Davis MP said: “”Genuine recall is critical to build the reputation and credibility of parliament. And so it is appropriate that we create a recall law that is produced with the public and MPs working alongside each other. Once the committee is confident that they are happy with the Bill we will present it to the leaders of all political parties in the House with a recommendation that they use this as the basis for legislation promised in this year’s Queen’s speech.”
Becky Jarvis of 38 Degrees said “Politics is broken. Real recall – the right to sack your MP – is one important step forward to improve on this. If we’re serious about building the trust people have in our political system, we have to ensure that these powers lie with voters, not a committee of MPs. Which is why tens of thousands of 38 Degrees members have come together to work with MPs from all parties, to make sure we get real reform.”
- The Recall of Elected Representatives Bill http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2014-2015/0088/150088.pdf
- Note: It is only permitted to include the names of 12 Members on a Presentation Bill. The full Committee is listed here:
David Davis (Conservative)
Zac Goldsmith (Conservative)
Douglas Carswell (Conservative)
Anne Marie Morris (Conservative)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Caroline Nokes (Conservative)
Andrew Mitchell (Conservative)
Robert Buckland (Conservative)
Nick de Bois (Conservative)
Tracey Crouch (Conservative)
Frank Field (Labour)
Yasmin Qureshi (Labour)
Katy Clark (Labour)
Jim Fitzpatrick (Labour)
Kate Hoey (Labour)
Julian Huppert (Lib Dem)
Paul Burstow (Lib Dem)
Jonathan Edwards (Plaid Cymru)
Caroline Lucas (Green)
Mark Durkan (SDLP
Angus MacNeil (SNP)
Roger Williams (Lib Dem)
- The Early Day Motion on Recall can be found here: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/25