Commons Report: Prosecute MPs Who Break Standards Rules

Lay members of the House of Commons Committee on Standards have recommended that MPs should face criminal prosecution if they break their code of conduct. MPs who flout the rules tend to get away with a mildly embarrassing but overall insignificant apology to the House. The lay advisory group – comprised of ordinary members of the public – now want to toughen up the punishment for failing to register outside interests. The lay members’ report said:

“In our opinion there could be significant benefit in terms of making it a criminal offence to fail to register an interest, as is the case in the standards system in Wales. If this is not possible, we consider that the reasons why need to be clearly explained and creative ways of addressing the issue need to be explored.”

MPs currently police themselves, a break from the principle of nemo judex in causa sua. Don’t bet on them listening to the Standards Committee lay members…


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