Rejected plan calls for barring MPs from entering Parliament if they are accused of a crime.


The official mechanism for removing Members of Parliament from the parliamentary estate has been the focus of the House of Commons Commission’s efforts.

The commission suggested in December that a risk assessment be conducted to determine whether or not an MP should be prohibited from entering the Palaces of Westminster following their arrest on suspicion of a violent or sexual offense.However, officials from the Commons have acknowledged that the “point of charge rather than arrest” now serves as the new cutoff point for a prohibition.

There will be a chance for MPs to discuss the plan.

“The House of Commons Commission published proposals for a risk-based exclusion policy for members who have been accused of violent or sexual offenses,” a Commons spokesman said in December 2023.Additional discussion about these ideas has taken place with members and other interested parties.

“During this month’s meeting, the commission decided to back a new proposal on risk-based exclusion at the point of charge, instead of arrest, that was proposed by the government.

“The House of Commons will have the final say on whether or not to accept these proposals.”

The eleven-member Commons commission consists of top MPs and laypeople, including Speaker of the House Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt, and Labour rival Lucy Powell.It has suggested creating a statutory framework for the so-called risk-based exclusion procedure, which would specify the point at which Members of Parliament risk being barred from the legislative estate.
The prime minister has been encouraged by Sir Keir Starmer to move forward with a debate on making Westminster a safer place (Ian West/PA).
At the moment, only voluntary agreements made with their own party whips can prevent MPs from visiting Westminster.

The plans were discussed in June 2023 and revised in December of the same year. Ms. Mordaunt has tentatively scheduled a debate for March 4.

However, she neglected to bring up the topic in her weekly business statement prior to that day, and she subsequently claimed that several MPs had brought up “serious questions” regarding the move.

During Prime Minister’s Questions earlier this month, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer urged Rishi Sunak to call a vote to adopt the proposals that would exclude MPs detained for serious sexual or violent offenses.

Speaking following the release of the first part of the Angiolini Inquiry, which revealed that opportunities to stop Wayne Couzens, the police killer of Sarah Everard, were missed time and time again, Sir Keir claimed that the inability of Parliament to hold a vote indicated that “a safe workplace here in Westminster” was not being created.

As per the initial proposals, a risk assessment would occur upon the Clerk of the House receiving information from the police regarding a Member of Parliament who is facing severe allegations. The commission had previously stated that such an arrest would be “in practice.”

The commission will now suggest that an MP be charged with an offense before they may be considered for banishment.

Senior Members of Parliament are anticipated to be part of the panel that will do a risk assessment based on police data and any voluntary arrangements that the MP may already have to avoid Westminster.

About The Author

Leave a Reply