The Government should “urgently” review the legal mechanisms available to Parliament to expel convicted MPs in light of the Fiona Onasanya scandal, the former head of the Commons standards watchdog has said.
Sir Kevin Barron, the former chairman of the committee on standards, has called on ministers to consider tightening legislation so that MPs who receive a prison sentence lasting more than 10 days should face expulsion from Parliament.
The senior Labour figure said it was “absurd” that MPs can only be automatically ousted from Parliament after receiving a year-long prison sentence, as set out in The Representation of the People Act 1981.
The people who should decide the membership of the Commons are the voters. And only the voters.
Not the police, prosecutors nor courts.
Think of it from the view of power. Imagine a more than usually unscrupulous PM. Who faces some rebels within their own party. A quick series of arrests for minor stuff – look, selling a bendy banana carries a theoretic 6 months inside as a possible sentence. – and rebels are gone, by elections held. You can make up your own variations on this.
So, who wants to give the centre of politics this power? Who doesn’t think that some in Momentum wouldn’t happily use this against Blairites?
I’m even against that 12 months as in the Rep the Peeps Act.
There’s an election every 5 years at least. That’s when to decide.