Member of Parliament for Clacton

Douglas Carswell

13 OCT 2009

Douglas introduces a Bill to make MPs properly accountable

Here is the text of Douglas Carswell's 10 Minute Rule Bill.  It is designed to ensure that MPs are all properly accountable to local people.

More information about it can be found on his blog site www.TalkCarswell.com :

 

Parliamentary Elections (Recall and Primaries) Bill

A

B I L L

TO

Make provision to require the Secretary of State to make provision for the recall of Members of the House of Commons in specified circumstances; to provide for the holding of primary elections in such circumstances; and for connected purposes

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

1. Recall of Members of the House of Commons

(1) 10% or more of voters in a parliamentary constituency may petition for an election to be held on the issue of the recall of their MP in the circumstances specified by this Act and according to the procedures proscribed by the Act.

(2) The circumstances referred to in subsection (1) are that there is evidence specified or summarised in the recall petition that their Member of Parliament has

(a) acted in a way which is financially dishonest; or

(b) misled the House of Commons; or

(c) broken any promises made or agreed to by him in his election address.

(3) The procedures referred to in subsection (1) are that

(a) at least 1000 voters in the constituency must submit their petition and any further evidence that they may wish to append to the Standards and Privileges Committee (‘the Committee’).

(b) the Committee must then, within one month, decide whether or not the evidence presented to it satisfies the provisions of subsection (2) provided that before making any decision the Committee must invite the MP to make such representations as he sees fit

(4) ) If the Committee decides that the provisions of subsetion2 have been satisfied then either

(a) the Committee can decide that in all the circumstances no further action is required; or

(b) that a reprimand from the Committee is sufficient in this case;

provided that if it is minded to take either of those courses of action then it must invite representations from the petitioners before so deciding; or

(c) if the Committee does not so decide either of the above then the Electoral Returning Officer for that constituency must organise a recall election, in which the question shall be

            ‘should xxx be recalled’   Yes/No’.

(d) If at any recall election a majority of people voting votes ‘yes’ then their MP is recalled and a bi-election must be held within 3 months.

(e) If the Committee decides that the provisions of subsection (2) have not been satisfied or that they have been satisfied but that no further action is required or that a reprimand is sufficient then it must give its reasons in writing to the petitioners.

(f) The Secretary of State may by statutory instrument make provisions for the conduct of recall elections.

2. Primary Elections

(1) If any political party in a House of Commons constituency decides to hold a primary election in that constituency and it has the support of not less than 1000 voters in that constituency on a petition then it shall be the duty of the Electoral Returning Officer for that constituency to organise a primary election to take place at the next time an election is being held in that constituency.

(2) In this section a primary election is an election in which all voters may vote on a short list of candidates presented by the political party concerned.

(3) The candidate that secures most votes in the primary election shall be adopted as the parliamentary candidate by the political party concerned.

(4) The Secretary of State may by statutory instrument make provisions for the conduct of primary elections.

3. Short Title Commencement and extent

(1) This Act may be cited as the Parliamentary Elections (Recall and Primaries) Bill.

(2) This Act applies to the United Kingdom but only as regards elections relating to the House of Commons.

(3) This Act shall come into force forthwith.

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