Sarah Wollaston’s Successor Introducing Bill to Force Recall Petitions for Defecting MPs

New Tory MP Anthony Mangnall is to propose a Private Members Bill tomorrow that would make MPs that switch parties face recall petitions and potentially by-elections. The bill hopes to amend the Recall of MPs Act (2015) to add a fourth criterion that would enable a recall petition for MPs who voluntarily change their political party affiliation mid-parliament. A step in the right direction, although Guido would prefer a real right of recall, with no conditions needing to be met in order to petition…

The bill is personal to Mangnall, who represents Totnes – the former seat of Sarah Wollaston. Wollaston switched parties three times in her final year as an MP: from Tory to The Independent Group for Change in February; to an independent MP in June; and to the LibDems in August. Not once did she, or any other LibDem or Independent Group for Change MPs, seek the consent of their constituents…

Read the proposed bill in full here:

Recall of MPs (Change of Party Affiliation) Bill 2020

A Bill to enable the recall of members of the House of Commons who voluntarily change their political party affiliation; and for connected purposes.

1 Amendment to the Recall of MPs Act 2015

    • (1) The Recall of MPs Act 2020 is amended as follows.
    • (2) In section 1(1) for “or third” substitute “third or fourth”.
    • (3) After section 1(9) insert—”(9A) The fourth recall condition is that the MP has chosen to leave the political party they represented upon their election to the House of Commons, defined as—
      (a) voluntarily resigning the whip of the political party they represented upon their election to the House of Commons, or
      (b) joining a political party different to the one they represented upon their election to the House of Commons, including joining such a party after having the whip of their original party withdrawn.(9B) The fourth recall condition is not satisfied if an MP chooses to leave the political party they represented upon their election to the House of Commons in order to either assume or relinquish the position of Speaker.”
    • (4) In the heading of section 5, for “or third” substitute “third or fourth”.
    • (5) In section 5(1) for “or third” substitute “third or fourth”.

2 Extent, commencement and short title

  • (1) This Act extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • (2) This Act comes into force at the end of the period of two months beginning with the day on which it is passed.
  • (3) This Act may be cited as the Recall of MPs (Change of Party Affiliation) Act 2020.
mdi-tag-outline Defection
mdi-account-multiple-outline Anthony Mangnall Sarah Wollaston
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