By Lucy Ashton
The Liberal Democrats have today led a cross-party Parliamentary effort to finally end the practice by which MPs are allowed to vote on motions regarding their own misconduct.
The Lib Dem Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain is today putting an amendment to a vote on the Government’s motion on standards, which the Government has tabled to implement recommendations from the Standards Committee, later this afternoon.
This practice was notoriously brought to attention by the Owen Paterson scandal, when he voted against his own suspension from the House of Commons in 2021 – a saga which ultimately resulted in a Liberal Democrat victory in the North Shropshire by-election.
The amendments, which have support from Conservatives (David Mundell, Alicia Kearns), Labour (Kim Leadbeater, Cat Smith) and the Green Party (Caroline Lucas), would prohibit members from voting on anything concerning their own conduct.
Liberal Democrat spokesperson, Wendy Chamberlain MP, right, said: “Voting through this amendment is a no-brainer for any MP who wants to stop the flow of sleaze stories coming from our Parliament. Mending our broken politics must be a priority for this Government.
“It’s obviously not right that MPs who have been found to have broken conduct rules get to vote on whether or not they are punished. The defendant shouldn’t also be a member of the jury.
“There needs to be a line in the sand to stop any MP from effectively marking their own homework.”