Labour has announced it will consult on extending the right of constituents to petition to recall their MPs if they change parties.
Labour say this will be part of a radical program to reform British democracy that will culminate in a Constitutional Convention to radically democratise politics and power in our country.
Jon Trickett MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, 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
rightlyfalling. “Communities should not have to wait for up to five years to act if they feel their MP is not properly representing their interests, especially with the restrictions of the Fixed Term Parliament Act. “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 issue has come to light as 8 Labour MPs and 3 Tory MPs defected to the centrist Independent group. Many constituents are unhappy that MPs elected on party tickets no longer represent them. These MPs refuse to call by-elections.
Gavin Shuker, who represents Luton, is one of the defectors and the leader of Luton Borough Council has called for a by-election stating:
“As a CLP, we’re very disappointed that a lot of us put aside political differences with Gavin in 2017 to knock on doors and work towards his increased majority – which he only got because of Labour’s 2017 manifesto.”
Cllr Sian Timoney said that by not calling by-elections Shuker was “disrespecting and ignoring the electorate who put you there.”
Many of the defectors, including Leslie, Shuker and Ryan, had lost votes of no confidence in them put forward by their local parties.