Happy new year, Mr Speaker.
The Government published our proposals on the recall of MPs last year, and the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee then published its report in June last year. We submitted an interim response reaffirming our commitment to establishing a recall mechanism and are now taking the proper time to reflect on the Committee’s recommendations.
Happy new year, Mr Speaker. I thank the Deputy Prime Minister for that unvarnished answer. Given that one of the justifications for introducing recall is improved confidence in our democracy, what is his view of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee’s statement:
“We are not convinced that the proposals will increase public confidence in politics”?
The Committee made a number of recommendations about our proposals, but equally it accepted that all parties had made a manifesto commitment to introduce some kind of recall mechanism and acknowledged, as I think everyone does, the difficulty in trying to define serious wrongdoing precisely and determine who should define it and who should set off a trigger for a recall by-election. It is precisely those kinds of difficult dilemmas that we are now trying to address, because we do not want to resile from the commitment to legislate to introduce some kind of recall mechanism.