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Labour looking into reforming election rules to make MPs more accountable to their constituents

The party's shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett said the ‘proposed reform has the dramatic potential to empower citizens’

LABOUR has begun looking into reforming election rules so that MPs have greater accountability to their constituents if they decide to defect to another political party or sit as independents.

Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett are looking over proposals to change the law so that MPs who change their party affiliation are treated the same as those who have seriously broken House of Commons rules.

If a representative resigns the whip or defects to another party, the change would mean that 10 per cent of voters could recall their MP and force a by-election by signing a petition.

Mr Trickett said: “Power comes from the people but for too long the overwhelming majority have been shut out.

“That’s why trust in politics and in elites is rightly falling.

“This proposed reform has the dramatic potential to empower citizens and will be one of many measures the Labour Party is planning to consult on and announce that will change the way politics in this country is done.”

The move came less than two days after seven Labour MPs left to form a new parliamentary party, the so-called Independent Group.

They have now been joined by former Labour Friends of Israel chair Joan Ryan and three Tory MPs led by anti-Brexit campaigner Anna Soubry.

The only previous recall petition was for DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr, who was suspended for failing to declare two holidays funded by the Sri Lankan government.

A second is expected in Peterborough, where disgraced former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya was jailed last month for perverting the course of justice.



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