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Labour claim recall plans will let rogue MPs off

LABOUR says that MPs who have committed historic crimes or fiddled their expenses would be let off the hook under the coalition government’s recall plans.

The proposals are designed to allow voters to sack disgraced MPs between general elections. Now Labour has tabled a series of amendments designed to ensure expenses fraud and historic crimes are included.

The party is concerned that politicians whose crimes emerge only after they were elected would escape. They point to the case of ex-SNP MSP Bill Walker, jailed last year after he was convicted of domestic abuse going back decades.

Under the amendment, the recall process would not apply if an MP was convicted of a crime before he or she was elected and voters knew about it when they cast their ballots.

A separate amendment would ensure the recall process starts automatically if an MP is convicted of ­abusing the parliamentary expenses system.

Under the recall process, a petition would be opened in the MP’s constituency. If enough voters sign it they can trigger a by-election.

Last night Thomas Docherty, Labour’s shadow deputy leader of the House and MP for Dunfermline and West Fife, said: “Our amendments will strengthen the Bill and ensure those who break the law cannot evade the verdict.”

Source: http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/scottish-politics/labour-claim-recall-plans-will-let-rogue-mps-off.25688081

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