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We Should Be Able To Kick Out Bad MPs, Says Clegg

Thursday 18th April 2013

Nick Clegg has backed Zac Goldsmith's plans to be able to boot out underperforming MPs.

The Deputy Prime Minister was challenged by Richmond Park Conservative MP Goldsmith to support the reforms to allow constituencies to force a by-election if their MP is not carrying out their duties.

Speaking live on his Call Clegg show on LBC 97.3 Mr Clegg explained the 'recall system' as something "in order to make sure MPs are kept on their toes and most importantly that when they do things wrong that consitutents don't have to wait until the next general election but can basically 'shortcircuit' things."

He went on to mention how he and Mr Goldsmith had previously spoken about it - but disagreed over the details.

The Conservative MP would like it to extend to MPs that do not attend enough Parliamentary sessions but many politicians think it should only be for more serious transgressions.

"There is quite a lot of debate about exactly what the triggers are and how much you first have to prove serious wrong-doing in Parliament. I think you take the view that there shouldn't be very many steps before people can trigger a by-election in their local constituency," Mr Clegg explained.

"A lot of other people think you can't turn this into a 'kangaroo court' otherwise everybody is going to be trying to recall everybody else. You have to have some kind of due process in all this."

The Deputy Prime Minister continued to say that he does want to see recall provisions "on the statute books during this Parliament."