22 June 2020



Motion tabled for debate at the House of Commons tomorrow regarding complaints against MPs

On 23 June 2020 tomorrow, a motion tabled for debate by Jacob Rees Mogg MP will look to establish an Independent Expert Panel with the power to determine appropriate sanctions in cases referred to it under the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS).

The creation of an independent panel to consider complaints against MPs (one which removes MPs themselves from the process) was one of the key recommendations from the Independent Inquiry led by Dame Laura Cox published in 2018.

The motion also contains a provision that the most severe sanctions imposed by the Independent Expert Panel, including suspension and expulsion of MPs, will require the formal authorisation of the House of Commons. It also seeks a change to prevent the name of the complainant and details of any investigation or specific matters considered by the Independent Expert Panel from disclosure in any motion, debate or question. MPs would not be able to call into question the determination of the Panel’s sanctions.

It is noted that MPs could utilise Parliamentary privilege to circumvent anonymity, meaning that the naming of complainants on the floor of the House remains a real risk that undermines the integrity of the ICGS process and could leave staff without legal recourse. Furthermore, complaints to Employment Tribunals and the civil and criminal courts do not automatically confer anonymity on those found to be at fault. These proceedings are often in the public domain and are subject to scrutiny, which calls into question why such an approach should allow MPs to be treated differently.

This development relates to a claim against Mike Hill MP, in which Farore Law is currently acting for the complainant. This case is listed to be heard next year.

Further updates on this motion will be published by Farore Law in due course.

Sources: House of Commons Library; GOV.UK; House of Commons Summary Agenda

Written by:

Farore Law Logo

Farore Law