Letter: MPs should be forced to resign if convicted of crimes

John Clarkson, of Brotherton, argues that MPs convicted of crimes should be legally required to step down in this letter.

Sunday, 19th July 2020, 12:29 pm
John Clarkson, of Brotherton, argues that MPs convicted of crimes should be legally required to step down in this letter.

So Yvette Cooper calls for a law change after the criminal conviction of a local councillor.

I don’t recall her being so vociferous when Members of Parliament have been convicted of criminal offences.

Whilst the offences for the latest conviction are particularly abhorrent she cannot in all conscience call for a law change for local politicians and not seek the same for Members of Parliament.

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Section 44 does not forbid anyone with a criminal record from sitting in parliament. What it does forbid is anyone who is currently serving jail time, or has been convicted and is awaiting sentence for an offence with jail time of a year or longer.

The Representation of the People Act 1981 automatically ejects any MP sentenced to jail for more than a year. MPs involved in scandals or convicted of lesser crimes could be pressured to resign, but there was no mechanism to force the exit of an MP prior to a general election.

John Clarkson, Brotherton