Policy paper

Recall of MPs Draft Bill

This publication was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The government is proposing to introduce a power of recall.



In a draft Bill published on 13 December 2011, the Government is proposing to introduce a power of recall, allowing voters to force a by-election where an MP is found to have engaged in serious wrongdoing and having had a petition calling for a by-election signed by 10% of his or her constituents.
The draft Bill is being published for pre-legislative scrutiny and sets out two triggers for a recall petition: firstly where an MP is convicted in the UK of an offence and receives a custodial sentence of 12 months or less, and secondly where the House of Commons resolves, through a vote by MPs, that a recall petition should be opened. The first trigger will close a gap in the existing legislation whereby MPs are only disqualified if they receive a custodial sentence of more than 12 months. The second trigger is an additional disciplinary power for the House of Commons, which for the first time allows constituents to have their say in deciding whether their MP should stay in office.