Suffolk: MP Douglas Carswell claims Prime Minister David Cameron is treating voters like ‘toddlers’ in MP recall row

MP Douglas Carswell last night said the lobbying scandals sweeping through Westminster fuel the argu

MP Douglas Carswell last night said the lobbying scandals sweeping through Westminster fuel the argument for voter-led MP recalls and claimed David Cameron is treating the public like toddlers. - Credit: Archant

An MP last night said the lobbying scandals sweeping through Westminster fuel the argument for voter-led MP recalls and claimed David Cameron is treating the public like “toddlers”.

Douglas Carswell, MP for Clacton, criticised Government proposals which recommend a select committee of MPs should decide over the fate of errant politicians, insisting the electorate should be the ones “in control”.

MPs can only be removed if they are convicted of a crime resulting in prison sentences of 12 months or longer currently.

Mr Cameron said current plans protect innocent MPs from “vexatious attempts” to unseat them.

But following South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo and MP Patrick Mercer referring themselves to the parliamentary standards commissioner in a bid to clear their names of alleged wrongdoing, Mr Carswell called for legislation allowing constituents to recall their MPs.

Not referring to specific allegations, he said: “We need a system of proper recall but successive Governments have failed to deliver one. This strengthens the power of Westminster and the old boy network – and these latest lobbying scandals illustrate just how urgently we need it.

“The Prime Minister is treating voters like toddlers, saying he doesn’t trust them.

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“He thinks a committee of grandees in London should be the ones deciding. This is politicians judging politicians. Bankers regulating bankers didn’t work – we need a more accountable system.

“If one in five people sign a petition asking for a recall then you have a ballot with a simple yes or no. If the majority says yes, then you are out. Why should MPs be immune from serious lapses of judgement?”

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