“You can expel an MP for fiddling expenses – but not violence or misogyny. Why?”

” … Under the Recall of MPs Act 2015 constituents can recall their MP if they receive a custodial sentence, if they are banned from the House of Commons for 10 sitting days (which only happens if they’ve previously been banned for a shorter period) or if they are convicted of providing a misleading expenses claim.

That means that so far this year, the public has been able to recall one MP for lying to avoid a speeding ticket and another for fiddling his expenses claim for two landscape photographs. But even if an MP admits to aggressive or violent behaviour, without a custodial sentence they are untouchable until the next election. That’s why the Women’s Equality party has written an open letter calling on parliament to amend the Recall Act 2015, to give the public the power to recall their representatives in cases where they have been found guilty of violence or harassment by the independent parliamentary commissioner for standards.

We live in a country where violence against women and girls is endemic yet rarely prosecuted. An astonishing 98.3% of rapes reported to the police in England and Wales do not lead to a conviction. Nor does assault always result in a prison sentence, with many perpetrators getting off with a fine. These problems urgently need to be addressed, but we should not have to wait for an improvement in conviction rates to ensure that MPs are held accountable for their actions.

Violent people do not belong in government. Let’s make that clear.”


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