A fond farewell to MP Recall

Following years of scandal in Parliament (Cash for Questions/Honours/Access, the Expenses Scandal, and so on), the Coalition Agreement put forward some fairly radical proposals to clean up the House. Proposals of primaries for constituencies (rapidly shelved after experimenting in Southampton resulted in the election of Dr Sarah Woolaston, a Conservative MP with a rather large tendency to ignore party whips and criticise the Conservatives), of controls for lobbying (still waiting…) and for MP recall – the ability of constituents to force a by-election where they felt their MP had misbehaved or was failing to represent them effectively.

However, this article outlines the abandoning of the latter policy, much to the chagrin of the Liberal Democrats. It could easily be used as an example of the failure of constitutional reform under the Coalition.

It is worth noting, on the ‘primaries’ point, that it could be argued that they are unnecessary following a couple of recent deselections, notably that of Tim Yeo. Deselected after nearly 30 years in his constituency, much of the reasoning seems to be that he did not spend enough time in his constitutency. If party members are able to do this, it perhaps could be seen as an alternative (albeit not as open) method of removing MPs from post (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26015369)