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Jul 2nd, 2014

Recall committee: it’s happening!

By becky

Last week over 30,000 members of 38 Degrees fed in to make sure our draft genuine recall law was as good as possible. And now the committee of 21 MPs from seven political parties has been announced. The committee is meeting next week to scrutinise the law line by line. It aims to be a purposeful discussion – it won’t have the pomp and circumstance of a normal House of Commons committee. And it will be live tweeted – allowing *normal people* to feed in and ask questions.

Once the committee are confident with it, 38 Degrees members will then decide if they’re happy. We will then present it to the leaders of all political parties in the House with a recommendation that they use this as the basis for legislation promised.

The committee has been assembled by Zac Goldsmith, and will be chaired by Former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis MP. It includes the former Chief Whip, Andrew Mitchell, former Health Minister Paul Burstow MP and Labour MP Katy Clark.

Full list of MPs involved:
David Davis (Conservative)
Zac Goldsmith (Conservative)
Douglas Carswell (Conservative)
Anne Marie Morris (Conservative)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Caroline Nokes (Conservative)
Andrew Mitchell (Conservative)
Robert Buckland (Conservative)
Nick de Bois (Conservative)
Tracey Crouch (Conservative)
Frank Field (Labour)
Yasmin Qureshi (Labour)
Katy Clark (Labour)
Jim Fitzpatrick (Labour)
Kate Hoey (Labour)
Julian Huppert (Lib Dem)
Paul Burstow (Lib Dem)
Jonathan Edwards (Plaid Cymru)
Caroline Lucas (Green)
Mark Durkan (SDLP
Angus MacNeil (SNP)

Here’s what some of the MPs involved had to say:

Zac Goldsmith MP said: “Recall is supposed to be about empowering voters to hold their MPs to account, and the Government’s proposals fall scandalously short. They don’t empower voters in any meaningful sense at all, and at the very first scandal, they will realise they have been duped. This cross-party Committee demonstrates that even if Party leaders have no appetite for reform, parliament does, and I very much hope the Bill we produce will make its way into law.”

David Davis MP said: “Genuine recall is critical to build the reputation and credibility of parliament. And so it is appropriate that we create a recall law that is produced with the public and MPs working alongside each other.  Once the committee is confident that they are happy with the Bill we will present it to the leaders of all political parties in the House with a recommendation that they use this as the basis for legislation promised in this year’s Queen’s speech.”

Katy Clark MP said “The Recall Bill which the Government has proposed does not go anywhere near far enough. The idea of recall is that voters have the power to recall MPs in certain circumstances where there has been a substantial loss of confidence in an individual due to conduct.  Under these proposals the power to dismiss MPs will remain in the hands of the judiciary and the House of Commons. We need a proper recall law which will deliver power to voters. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to work alongside like-minded colleagues so that we can secure a genuine recall law where the public can recall MPs”

Julian Huppert MP said “I want to see legislation which empowers the public to recall their MPs; they elected them and they should have the power to recall them for serious misdemeanors.

Giving the initial decision to a committee of MPs falls short of what is needed here. We set out to repair the relationship between politicians and the public and the Recall Bill can go some way to achieving that – but it must be fit for purpose.”

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