Suing your MP

February 04, 2009 1:10 PM

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 The County Court have now withdrawn their judgement and demanded a more rigorous process of proving the case on the behalf of the plaintiff, and it's unclear where it all currently stands, but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.

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 The County Court have now withdrawn their judgement and demanded a more rigorous process of proving the case on the behalf of the plaintiff, and it's unclear where it all currently stands, but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.

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