Roger Williams, MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, has joined the fight for a real recall bill, to make it easier for voters to sack rogue Members of Parliament.
Roger Williams and other MPs from across the UK are worried that the UK Government’s Recall Bill does not go far enough. Under the plans announced in the Queen’s Speech, voters could trigger a by-election if a petition is signed by 10% of constituents, but only if their MP received a custodian sentence of up to 12 months or if the House of Commons resolved that he or she should face a recall petition.
Roger Williams believes this is too weak, and he is supporting a rival version which would allow voters to trigger the process by petition for any reason that could gather enough support behind it. Roger Williams has joined a committee of 21 MPs of seven political parties, which met yesterday to scrutinise the draft law.
Commenting, Roger Williams MP said:
“Constituents must have confidence that when elected, MPs will carry out their responsibilities to the full. There is no job description, so attending parliament is voluntary as is dealing with constituent’s casework and holding surgeries. Most MPs are assiduous in their duties, but some are not. Some MPs break parliamentary regulations or commit crimes. Constituents should have the right to test public opinion in their area and if it is strong enough, get rid of their Member of Parliament before the next election. Zac Goldsmith’s Bill, based on experience in other countries, would do just that. And that is why I am supporting it. Being elected to represent my home area is an enormous honour and I believe a sincere recall process could go a long way in restoring trust in politics.”