Feb 2009 04

There is a remarkable piece of news in the Daily Mail today, about an MP who has apparently been sued by a constituent for allegedly failing to represent him properly.

Ann Keen MP was ordered by Brentford County Court to pay damages of £15,000 to a constituent who claims she failed in her duty of care to him by not responding to letters and making only minimal representations on his behalf. The County Court have now withdrawn their judgement and demanded a more rigorous process of proving the case on the behalf of the plaintiff, and it's unclear where it all currently stands, but this is quite a development in our democracy.

Of course, no-one would want MPs to be sued regularly by vexatious people (and MPs do get some pretty barmy correspondence at times!), this is an interesting sanction to be used as a last resort in the rare cases where an MP is simply failing to do a good job. If this case is successful and sets a precedent, the courts will need to be very firm in filtering out loony cases, but it sure would make MPs even more careful to do a good job.

Mark is a writer and political campaigner, ardent libertarian and eurosceptic.



  • Nostradamus

    Politicians need to be made accountable for what they say and do and what they dont do.They need to earn thier salary,after all it is us that pay them.

  • Hope

    Most MP’s are a useless lazy lot.We are losing our 4 granddaughters to ‘forced adoption’ similar to the scottish grandparents. This is costing the tax payers millions in Council Tax via secret family courts costs instead of nothing to stay with us – If you really want to save taxpayers money you would be looking into the millions that LA are making at the cost to the taxpayers and the children!

  • Nicholas Bennett

    Most MPs are not useless. They work very hard and have to spend a great deal of time on issues which are not within their responsibility. The accountability is at the ballot box not in the courts.

  • Simon Cross

    I have to say, when I got into a dispute over my son’s Statement of SEN with Surrey CC, my MP (Chris Grayling) was brilliant. The Council went from arrogantly brushing us off and saying we had to formally appeal, to admitting their error, re-instating his provision and backing down, within a fortnight once he got involved.

  • John Stevens

    I have, after reaching the age of 71, resolved not to vote again because no party represents me and the DISHONOURABLE members are demonstrating that, they are the lowest form of human, operating within laws that they make to ensure the public see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing. If we wish to know something they attempt to rush through a law that prevents us from knowing what they are doing with our money to buy their John Lewis 2nd Homes,
    Regards John Stevens,
    my MP is Richard Shepherd, you can tell him if you can

  • http://profile.typepad.com/franhill franhill

    For more years than I care to remember sleaze has surfaced in the House of Commons, now to it seems also in the Lords.It is high time that this country had people elected who are interested in this country – Government of the People by and for the People. Those who want to be in this seat of power should work in unison in the BEST INTERESTS of the country. and ditch this cat and mouse game of party politics once and for all.

  • B Lockwood

    Tim
    As you all well know I’ve had ten years of
    lack of help from my M P due to the fact all the problems lay with his Government.
    Councils, Courts and Solicitors are siding with them, Representation is denied me due to full corruption.
    Believe me, nobody has done more writing then me, the more I do the more I get ignored, but I’ll continue annoying because I should be allowed that right.
    Barbara Lockwood 01603 416392

  • http://yahoo.co.uk alan moon

    taxpayers alliance is the way forward.
    It is our money and we decide how it’s spent
    We choose the speaker and the MP’s,sack the
    present lot,get them in court,and start afresh.