Horsham MP argues for right of appeal in standards process

Horsham’s Jeremy Quin believes there should be a right of appeal in standards cases involving MPs.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 11:10 am
Horsham MP Jeremy Quin

Plans to review the system governing MPs’ conduct, after Owen Paterson had been found to have broken lobbying rules, were withdrawn after a huge outcry.

Steve Barclay, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, expressed his and the regret of ministerial colleagues over the ‘mistake made last week’.

On Monday (November 8), he said although ‘sincerely held concerns clearly warrant further attention, the manner in which the Government approached last week’s debate conflated them with the response to an individual case’.

He added: “This House shares a collective interest in ensuring that the code of conduct reflects and fosters the highest standards of public life.”

A Commons vote to review the standards rules was passed on Wednesday (November 3). It also put on hold a suspension Mr Paterson was facing for breaching rules on lobbying,

Faced with a massive backlash the government backtracked and Mr Paterson has since stepped down as an MP.

Mr Quin, who is minister for defence procurement, was amongst those to vote with the government.

This week he told the County Times: “Setting in train a process in which someone who is democratically elected is removed from office is a very serious undertaking.

“I think that there should be a cross-party review to establish an appeal process, preferably with a judicial element, to ensure that the process under which this has been conducted in individual cases cannot be questioned.

“I voted to support the establishment of a cross-party committee to investigate such a process in the Commons.”

Andrew Griffith, MP for Arundel and South Downs, did not vote as he is in Glasgow for COP26.