Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Right To Recall MPs: Another Broken Coalition Promise

Power Of Recall: All Talk, No Action. Maria Miller Must Be Relieved

Do you remember when the coalition came to power they promised a "new politics" aimed at "removing the stain left by the expenses scandal".

They enshrined with in their written Coalition Agreement a commitment to introduce a new "power of recall" which would give voters the right to force a by-election if 10% of constituents signed a petition believing that their MP had been engaged in "serious wrong doing".

When it came to introducing the Right to Recall, the job was given to Nick Clegg. 

Instead of his promised "biggest shake up of our democracy in 178 years" Clegg decided that the public should not be allowed to decide if an MP's apparent behaviour was worthy of recall, proposing instead to hand that decision to a parliamentary committee - in fact, the same committee that ruled last week on the Basingstoke MP Maria Miller's expenses.

As we approach the last year of the coalition government nothing has been delivered on this promise. In fact, any possibility of introducing such an act has been largely buried.

Maria Miller must be very relieved.

For Information: The 2010 Conservative manifesto said:
Our People Power manifesto will give local people the direct power to recall MPs found guilty of wrongdoing without having to wait for a General Election. Conservatives will empower local people to cast a vote of no confidence in their elected representative and bring an end to the concept of the ‘safe seat’. This proposal will make MPs directly answerable to their constituents over the whole of a Parliament – not just every five years.
How the Right to Recall process will work:
The recall process will begin with the filling of a notice-of-intent-to-recall petition, to be signed by at least 100 constituents and submitted to the local returning officer.
Once registered, a recall petition can be circulated within the constituency, petitions for the recall of MPs must accumulate signatures equal to 10 per cent of the local electorate
Any petition that crosses the signature threshold within 90 days would trigger a by-election.

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