Saturday, 1 June 2013

Law To Recall MPs: Another Broken Promise

As the Daily Telegraph reports on another MP alleged to be in breach of Parliamentary regulations forbidding taking cash for providing lobbying services, one is bound to ask what has happened to the promise to provide legislation to allow the recall of MPs by disenchanted constituents.

Following promises made before the 2010 general election, Nick Clegg introduced the Recall of MPs draft Bill and White Paper.

Clegg said "we must ensure that politicians are accountable to the people they serve" and proposed a process whereby an MP who is found guilty of serious wrongdoing could be forced to stand down and face a by-election. 10% of an MP’s constituents would have to sign a petition requesting a recall for a by-election to happen.

Following the publication of the BIll, the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee led a review between December 2011 and April 2012 and published its report in June 2012. The coalition government made it's response last September, "repeating our intention to introduce a power of recall".

So what now? The last session of Parliament finished early for lack of legislative business being put forward by the coalition goverment and with now less than two years to the next general elections, the prospects of this headline grabbing promise becoming law are now next to nil.

So much for restoring people's faith in the Westminster political system.

Another broken promise to add to an already very long list:
1. No frontline cuts
2. Protecting the NHS budget
3. 3,000 more police officers
4. Keeping VAT at 17.5%
5. Keeping the Future Jobs Fund
6. Keeping Education Maintenance Allowances
7. Preserving tax credits for middle earners
8. Removing the “couple penalty”
9. Scrapping tuition fees
10. No bonuses for bank directors
11. 3,000 more midwives
12. Three more army battalions
13. Pupil Premium additional to the schools budget
14. Keeping Child Benefit universal
15. Stopping A&E and maternity closures
16. A Post Office Bank
17. No new nuclear power stations
18. Removing high marginal tax rates
19. No cuts to the Royal Navy
20. Automatic prison sentence for carrying a knife
21. Cutting rail fares each year
22. Keeping the Child Trust Fund for the poorest families
23. No more top down NHS reorganisations
24. No cuts to public spending this year


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