Friday, 14 February 2014

'Power of recall' of MPs ditched by coalition

As reported by the BBC website

The coalition is set to drop plans to give voters the ability to dismiss MPs for "serious wrongdoing".
The idea of a "power of recall", where 10% of an MP's electorate could sign a petition calling for a by-election, was introduced after the expenses scandal.
The procedure was promised in the Coalition Agreement, of May 2010.
A report in the Independent - confirmed by government sources - reveals the draft legislation will not be in the final Queen's Speech of Parliament.
The Conservatives and Lib Dems committed themselves to legislation in the Coalition Agreement by saying: "We will bring forward early legislation to introduce a power of recall, allowing voters to force a by-election where an MP is found to have engaged in serious wrongdoing and having had a petition calling for a by-election signed by 10% of his or her constituents."
When a draft bill was published in 2011, there was some criticism that the threshold for triggering the recall of an MP had been set too high.
'Quad' disagreement As well as 10% of constituents having to sign a petition demanding it, a committee of MPs would first have to decide if serious wrongdoing had taken place.
Now Whitehall sources have said the most senior figures in government have decided not to enact any legislation in this Parliament.
BBC political correspondent Iain Watson said it is understood the decision was taken following a meeting of the "quad" group of senior Lib Dem and Tory ministers.
The Conservative prime minister and chancellor did not agree with the Lib Dem deputy PM and chief secretary to the Treasury that the necessary bill should be in the next Queen's Speech.
Downing Street has declined to comment.

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