Denis MacShane's disgraceful abuse of taxpayers' money underlines urgent need for recall mechanism

November 02, 2012 3:10 PM

17: 00 Update: Following Denis MacShane's announcement of his resignation Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance commented:

"It is absolutely right that Denis MacShane has resigned, having systematically and disgracefully abused taxpayers’ money. With the report finding that he routinely misled parliamentary authorities about his expenses, it would have been unthinkable for him to remain as an MP. If he had stayed, it would have meant twelve months without proper representation for the people of Rotherham and then potentially years more before he could be replaced at a General Election. This case underlines the need for a recall mechanism to ensure that constituents can boot out an MP who has let them down. And there still needs to be a proper examination of whether there should be further sanctions for these severe and repeated breaches of the expenses rules."


13.30 Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, has issued the following response to today's Standards and Privileges Committee report into Denis MacShane MP's expense claims:

“This report has exposed a systematic and disgraceful abuse of taxpayers’ money by Mr MacShane which brings shame upon him and the office he holds. It suggests that he routinely misled the parliamentary authorities about his expenses, which is a severe breach of Commons rules.

“If the House of Commons endorses this report and Mr MacShane is suspended from Parliament, the people of Rotherham will go unrepresented in the Commons for a whole year. This is simply not fair.

“A politician cannot claim to be a credible representative of his electors if he is suspended from the Commons for twelve months.

“This case underlines the urgent need for a recall mechanism to be introduced. This would enable constituents to decide at the polls if they believe their MP is fit to remain in place or whether they would rather see a by-election to elect a successor.

“The Coalition Agreement proposed a right to recall but the Government has failed to propose effective legislation in this area. It should now do so as a matter of urgency."

17: 00 Update: Following Denis MacShane's announcement of his resignation Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance commented:

"It is absolutely right that Denis MacShane has resigned, having systematically and disgracefully abused taxpayers’ money. With the report finding that he routinely misled parliamentary authorities about his expenses, it would have been unthinkable for him to remain as an MP. If he had stayed, it would have meant twelve months without proper representation for the people of Rotherham and then potentially years more before he could be replaced at a General Election. This case underlines the need for a recall mechanism to ensure that constituents can boot out an MP who has let them down. And there still needs to be a proper examination of whether there should be further sanctions for these severe and repeated breaches of the expenses rules."


13.30 Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, has issued the following response to today's Standards and Privileges Committee report into Denis MacShane MP's expense claims:

“This report has exposed a systematic and disgraceful abuse of taxpayers’ money by Mr MacShane which brings shame upon him and the office he holds. It suggests that he routinely misled the parliamentary authorities about his expenses, which is a severe breach of Commons rules.

“If the House of Commons endorses this report and Mr MacShane is suspended from Parliament, the people of Rotherham will go unrepresented in the Commons for a whole year. This is simply not fair.

“A politician cannot claim to be a credible representative of his electors if he is suspended from the Commons for twelve months.

“This case underlines the urgent need for a recall mechanism to be introduced. This would enable constituents to decide at the polls if they believe their MP is fit to remain in place or whether they would rather see a by-election to elect a successor.

“The Coalition Agreement proposed a right to recall but the Government has failed to propose effective legislation in this area. It should now do so as a matter of urgency."

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