LABOUR AND TORIES DENY PEOPLE RIGHT TO SACK MPs

Both Labour and Conservative Parties have voted to deny constituents the right to sack their MP in cases of gross misconduct.

At the first opportunity to fulfil their promises of recent weeks, neither party instructed its Peers to support a Liberal Democrat amendment to make possible ‘recall’ of MPs who have been suspended by Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

Speaking in the House of Lords debate this afternoon, Liberal Democrat spokesman, Lord Tyler said: “If we dodge this issue now, the pubic will think that we have deliberately forgotten it, despite the promises of the party leaders. Delay will be interpreted as a further broken promise.”

Labour Peers nonetheless voted against the proposals and Conservatives took instructions from their whips to abstain, despite the expressions of support from Gordon Brown and David Cameron last week.

However, Liberal Democrats led a successful cross-party attack on donations by foreign multi-millionaires to political parties. A record 45 Labour backbenchers in the Lords supported a move to insist that only those who paid tax in the United Kingdom should be “permissible donors”. Despite Government and Tory opposition, the amendment was carried by 107 to 85.

Commenting, Lord Tyler said:

“The Lords has given the Government an opportunity to take big foreign donations out of British politics. Yet Ministers are set to ask Labour MPs to vote with Conservatives and overturn that progress in the House of Commons.

“And both parties have failed their first test to give real power back to constituents. There was a chance this week to vote for a ‘recall’ mechanism so that constituents could sack MPs who break the rules, but neither Labour nor the Conservatives could bring themselves to support it.

“They appear to have learnt nothing over the last few weeks. This will cause even more public disillusion with Parliament.

“As ever, Labour and Conservative alike are quick with warm words about change but slow to make it happen.”

Note to Editors:

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg spelt out in his ‘100 Days to Save Democracy’, a comprehensive plan to clean-up British politics, a right for constituents to sack MPs if they have been suspended by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. See http://www.takebackpower.org

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