Friday, 6 June 2014

Katy backs public's right to sack MPs

Local MP Katy Clark is to back an initiative that would allow the public to kick-out MPs who misbehave or whose standards fall short of constituents’ expectations.

The Queen’s Speech, delivered last week to the UK Parliament in London, set-out Tory-Lib Dem plans to introduce ‘recall’ legislation allowing for the removal of MPs who break the law. However, the Coalition Government’s plan would only apply to MPs jailed for up to 12 months or who had been deemed by a committee of fellow MPs to have “seriously misbehaved”. Zac Goldsmith, the Tory MP who introduced a Members’ Bill that sought to give the public power to recall (sack) MPs, said the restrictions placed on when such action could be taken had made the proposed legislation “meaningless”.

Now, North Ayrshire & Arran MP Katy Clark has called for tougher recall regulations that would allow constituents to sack their MP if a majority indicated they had lost confidence in the politician.

Ms Clark said, “Over recent years we have seen a growing disillusionment amongst the public with politicians and the political system. This can be shown by the disappointingly low turn-out in the recent European elections. We need to look at ways of re-engaging people with the democratic process. Giving the public the power to recall MPs in whom they have lost confidence is hopefully one step that would achieve this in situations where there has been a substantial loss of confidence in an individual due to their conduct.”

Of the limited recall plan unveiled by the Tory-Lib Dem UK Government, Katy Clark said, “The proposal does not go anywhere near far enough. The power to dismiss MPs will remain in the hands of the judiciary and the House of Commons. We need a proper recall law that will deliver a genuine transfer of power away from politicians and give it to voters.”

The Labour MP now intends to work with others, on a cross-party basis, in attempting to amend the government recall Bill as it makes it way through the legislative process in the House of Commons.

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