Parliamentary Vote on Ousting MPs Charged with Sexual Offenses from the Commons

MPs will be voting next week on the exclusion from Parliament of those who have been charged with a sexual offence.

The Vote

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On Monday, 13 May this year, Penny Mordaunt will bring a motion to Parliament. The debate will be on a “Motion on the risk-based exclusion of Members of Parliament”, according to

The Proposal

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In June 2023, the House of Commons published the proposal to exclude MPs from the Parliament Estate and Parliament-funded travel if they were facing allegations of sexual or violent offences.

Updated Version

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The proposal was updated in December 2023 to suggest excluding only those charged rather than anyone under suspicion or on their arrest before being charged.


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Labour MP Jess Phillips and Liberal Democrat MP Wendy Chamberlain have both expressed their concerns about the change, saying it doesn’t hold MPs to the same rules as others. 

Double Standards

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Chamberlain said. “If a school teacher had been arrested on suspicion of rape, they would be suspended, and I believe it should be the same for MPs.”. 

“Watered-Down Version”

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Therefore, many consider the updated proposal too lenient. Trade Union Leader Mike Clancy said, “It would be hugely disappointing if rather than grab this opportunity to put an appropriate policy in place, MPs instead went for the government’s watered-down version.”

Not Everyone Agrees

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Since “innocent until proven guilty” is a crucial part of the UK’s justice system, it is unsurprising that others are staunchly against the exclusion of MPs who may be under suspicion but haven’t been charged. 


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Conservative MP Sir Julian Lewis spoke in Parliament to condemn the harsher proposal, stating, “I found alarming the suggestion that an MP could be suspended based on an allegation. It does not require much imagination to see certain circumstances in which an MP could be targeted”. 

Still Under Debate

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The issue came under debate in Parliament yesterday, with Lewis suggesting that MPs may end up excluded “by someone making a serious allegation with no factual underpinning whatsoever, and then having to be suspended.” 

“Flimsy” Basis

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The original version of the proposal would mean MPs could be excluded without ever being charged by police. Lewis said, “It is astonishing, frankly, that we could be put into such a situation on so flimsy a basis.”

That’s Not How It Works

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In response, Phillips replied that “an arrest does not happen on the basis of “flimsy” allegations; it takes weeks.”, meaning that the original version of the proposal would not, in her belief, result in MPs being unfairly excluded.

And Another Thing

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MP Sir Christopher Chope pointed out yesterday that if exclusion begins from the date of arrest, months or even years can pass before being charged. Also, arrest does not always mean a person’s identity will be revealed, unlike when charged. If an MP were excluded for this reason, it would likely reveal their identity.

How Long Will It Take?

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Yesterday’s Parliamentary discussion of the issue was primarily to determine if the two hours set aside on Monday would be sufficient to debate the motion. MPs recognised that it is a “controversial subject”, having already had eight amendments.

Voluntary Exclusion

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In the past, there have been cases where MPs have volunteered to stay away from Parliament pending investigation. However, Gary Graham, the deputy general secretary of the trade union Prospect, said, “Voluntary agreements to stay away do not work”.

“As Demonstrated”

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Graham continued, “as demonstrated by Imran Ahmad Khan’s attendance at Westminster whilst investigations were ongoing, despite agreeing to stay away.”. Khan was later jailed for 18 months for sexually assaulting a teenage boy.

A Controversial Topic

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Newly defected Labour MP Natalie Elphicke came under strong criticism for defending her ex-husband, former MP Charlie Elphicke when he was accused of sexual assault. He was described in court as a “sexual predator”.

Standing by a Predator

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In 2020, Elphicke said that her ex-husband Charlie had been a victim of a “miscarriage of justice” and said one of his two victims was “obsessed with him”.

An Apology 

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Since defecting to Labour today, Thursday, 9 May, she has issued a statement reversing her position: “I have previously, and do, condemn his behaviour towards other women and towards me. It was right that he was prosecuted and I’m sorry for the comments that I made about his victims.”.

How Will She Vote?

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Given that Elphicke stood by her husband when he was charged, it raises interesting questions about her views on this proposal. Her husband was an MP for the Conservative party until they withdrew his whip on 6 September 2019, the same day he appeared in court and denied all three charges.

Time for Change

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Mike Clancy, head of Prospect, said, “We have waited a long time for Parliament to make even a pretence at becoming a 21st-century workplace where MPs have been accused of serious misbehaviour.”

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The post Parliament to Vote on Excluding MPs Charged with Sexual Offenses from the Commons first appeared on Edge Media.

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