WHEN the conduct of a MP has brought politics, and their constituency, into disrepute, local voters have invariably found themselves powerless to act, or intervene, until the next election.
This is now changing thanks to the advent of ‘recall’ legislation which means, in certain circumstances, a by-election can be triggered if 10 per cent of the electorate register a vote of no confidence in their MP.
The first test comes in Northern Ireland where the North Antrim constituents of Democratic Unionist MP Ian Paisley are determining whether such an election should be held after he was suspended from the House of Commons for 30 days for failing to register two family holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government.
Either way, politics should be enhanced by these new checks and balances. For, if MPs uphold the high standards of their office, and the overwhelming majority do so, they should have nothing to fear from this.