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A

BILL

TO

Make provision about the recall of members of the House of Commons; to
allow for the extension of such provision to other offices; to provide that the
recall of elected representatives in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales be a
devolved matter; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1 Recall process

1 How an MP becomes the subject of a recall process

(1) A member of the House of Commons (“the member“) becomes the subject of a
5recall referendum where—

(a) a notice of intent to recall, signed by a number of persons not less than
the effective number (5% of persons in the member’s parliamentary
constituency entitled to vote), in accordance with Part 2 of this Act, has
been deposited with a returning officer, and

(b) 1020% of persons entitled to vote have then validly signed a recall petition
in accordance with Part 3 of this Act.

(2) The member’s seat becomes vacant, in accordance with Part 4 of this Act,
where the majority of people who have voted in a recall referendum vote in
favour of the member being recalled from Parliament.

(3) 15Provision made by or under this Act does not affect other ways in which a
member’s seat may be vacated.

2 Returning officers

(1) For the purposes of this Act, the returning officer for a parliamentary
constituency in England or Wales is to be the person who is the returning

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officer in relation to the constituency by virtue of section 24 of the
Representation of the People Act 1983.

(2) For a constituency in Scotland, the returning officer is to be the person who is
the returning officer in relation to the constituency by virtue of section 25 of
5that Act (returning officers: Scotland).

(3) For a constituency in Northern Ireland, the returning officer is to be the Chief
Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland.

(4) References in this Act to a returning officer are to a returning officer under this
section.

(5) 10Schedule 1 (which contains further provision about returning officers) has
effect.

Part 2 Intent to recall process

3 Determination of the effective number

(1) 15In each year, the returning officer of each constituency in England and Wales,
Scotland and Northern Ireland shall on the relevant day, determine the
number that is equal to 5% of the number of persons entitled to sign a notice of
intent to recall in that constituency on that day (“the effective number”).

(2)
For the purposes of this section a person is entitled to sign a notice of intent to
20recall if on the relevant day that person would be entitled to vote as an elector
at a parliamentary election in the constituency.

(3) The returning officer shall, as soon as practicable after making a determination
under subsection (1), publish—

(a) the effective number;

(b) 25a postal and electronic address for the purpose of receiving notices of
intent to recall (“the returning officer’s address“).

(4) For the purposes of this section “the relevant day” shall be the day on which
the registration officer publishes a revised version of the electoral register
under section 13 of the Representation of the People Act 1983.

4 30Form etc. of notice of intent to recall

(1) The Secretary of State shall make regulations with regard to notices of intent.

(2) Regulations under subsection (1) shall, in particular, include provision as to—

(a) a duty upon the electoral registration officer to—

(i) provide a person on request with the number shown (if any)
35against that person’s name on the electoral register (“electoral
number”);

(ii) make arrangements whereby the notice of intent may be signed
electronically; and

(iii) make arrangements to combat error and fraud in this regard.

(b) 40the form, including paper and electronic, in which a notice of intent to
recall may be deposited with the returning officer;

Recall of Elected Representatives BillPage 3

(c) the information which must accompany signatures, including full
name, address and, in the case of a notice being signed electronically,
the electoral number of the signatory; and

(d) the application of offences created in the Representation of the People
5Act 1983 to activity in relation to signing a notice of intent as if that were
voting in an election.

5 Wording of notice of intent to recall

(1) A notice of intent to recall shall read as follows—

If you agree that [name], the member of the House of Commons for
10[constituency] should be subject to a recall petition for the following
reason, please sign below

Statement of Reasons (maximum 200 words)

(2) A notice of intent shall include a statement of no more than 200 words
explaining the reason for calling for a recall petition (“statement of reasons”).

6 15Persons entitled to sign a notice of intent to recall

A person is entitled to sign a notice of intent to recall in respect of a member for
a constituency on the day the notice is signed by that person if that person
would be entitled to vote on that day as an elector at a parliamentary election
in the constituency.

7 20Deposit of notice of intent to recall by promoter

(1) A notice of intent to recall may be deposited with a returning officer by a
promoter of the notice.

(2) A notice of intent to recall may be deposited by delivering it in person or
sending it by post or electronically to the returning officer’s address published
25under section 3(3)(b).

(3) The notice of intent deposited under subsection (1) must be accompanied by a
declaration made by the promoter, verifying that to the best of that person‘s
knowledge the notice complies with the requirements of this Act.

(4) The date of deposit of a notice of intent to recall is the date it is received by the
30returning officer.

(5) “Promoter” means, for the purposes of this section, a person who supports the
recall from Parliament of the member to which the notice of intent to recall
relates.

8 Determination of whether a notice of intent to recall is effective

(1) 35As soon as reasonably practicable after a notice of intent to recall has been
deposited under section 7—

(a) the returning officer shall send a copy of the notice to the member;

(b) the returning officer shall, in accordance with subsection (2), determine
whether the notice of intent to recall is effective, and

(c) 40if so, the officer must issue a notice under section 9.

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(2) A notice of intent to recall is effective for the purposes of this section if the
returning officer is satisfied that—

(a) the statement of reasons is not the same or similar to that included
within a notice of intent to recall deposited at any time since the
5beginning of the current parliamentary term;

(b) the number of persons who have validly signed the notice of intent to
recall is not less than the effective number; and

(c) it satisfies the requirements imposed under section 4.

(3) For the purposes of this section a person (“P”) validly signs a notice of intent to
10recall if—

(a) P signs the notice within the period commencing 28 days prior to the
date upon which the notice is deposited with the returning officer and
ending on that day;

(b) P signs the notice on a day on which P is entitled to do so under section
156;

(c) the returning officer has not received a written request from P that the
signature be removed from the notice; and

(d) any condition imposed by regulations of the kind mentioned in section
23(3)(b) (conditions for the exercise of entitlement to sign) is met.

(4) 20Where a person signs a notice of intent to recall but the information required
under section 4(2)(c) is not provided, or is not provided in a legible form, that
person’s signature shall be disregarded in determining whether the notice is
effective.

(5) If a person signs a notice of intent to recall notice more than once, only the most
25recent signature shall be taken into account in determining whether the notice
is effective.

Part 3 Recall petition process

9 Returning officer’s recall petition notice

(1) 30As soon as reasonably practicable after determining that a notice of intent to
recall is effective under section 8, the returning officer shall—

(a) notify the member of the right to provide a statement in reply in
accordance with section 10; and

(b) at the same time, issue and publicise a recall petition notice.

(2) 35Subsection (1) does not apply if it would otherwise require the returning officer
to give notice at a time—

(a) within the period of eight months ending with the polling day for the
next parliamentary general election;

(b) during a recall petition process in respect of the member that has
40already begun;

(c) when the member has been charged with an indictable offence and the
member has not yet been discharged or convicted;

(d) when the member has been authorised to be detained under a mental
health enactment; or

(e) 45when the seat of the member has already been vacated (whether by the
member‘s death or disqualification, or otherwise).

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(3) For the purposes of paragraph (a) of subsection (2), the possibility that, after
the time mentioned in that subsection, the polling day for a parliamentary
general election will be altered by virtue of section 1(5) or 2(7) of the Fixed-term
Parliaments Act 2011 is to be ignored.

(4) 5The following are “mental health enactments” for the purposes of this
section—

(a) the Mental Health Act 1983,

(b) Part 6, and section 200(2)(b), of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act
1995, and

(c) 10the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 (S.I. 1986/595S.I. 1986/595 (N.I.
4)).

(5) A notice under this section must specify the day on which it is given.

(6) The Secretary of State shall by regulations specify—

(a) the form and content of the returning officer‘s recall petition notice
15(which shall include the statement of reasons and name and address of
the promoter of the relevant notice of intent to recall); and

(b) how it is to be publicised.

10 Member’s statement in reply

(1) A member in relation to whom a recall petition notice has been issued may
20respond to the statement of reasons given in the notice of intent to recall in a
written statement in reply (“statement in reply”).

(2) The statement in reply must—

(a) not exceed 200 words; and

(b) be provided to the returning officer within 10 working days of the
25member having been notified under section 9.

11 Returning officer to make recall petition available for signature

(1) Where the returning officer has issued a recall petition notice, the officer must,
as soon as reasonably practicable, designate—

(a) at least four places within the relevant constituency at which a recall
30petition is to be made available for signature; and

(b) a day from which the petition is to be made available for signature (“the
designated day”).

(2) The designated day shall be—

(a) three weeks after that on which the returning officer’s recall petition
35notice is issued; or

(b) if that day is not a relevant day, the first subsequent relevant day.

(3) But if it is not reasonably practicable to designate the day determined under
subsection (2), the returning officer must designate the first subsequent
relevant day that it is reasonably practicable to designate.

(4) 40The returning officer must ensure that—

(a) the recall petition is made available for signature; and

(b) any statement in reply by the member is available to be read, at the
designated places throughout the signing period.

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(5) Subsection (4) is subject to any provision of regulations under section 23—

(a) permitting or requiring the returning officer not to make the recall
petition available for signature for periods of a day or on particular
days; or

(b) 5about signing by post or proxy.

(6) In this section “relevant day” means a day that is not—

(a) a Saturday or Sunday;

(b) Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Good Friday; or

(c) a bank holiday or a day appointed for public thanksgiving or
10mourning,

and for this purpose “bank holiday” means a day that is a bank holiday in the
part of the United Kingdom in which the constituency is situated.

(7) In this Act “the signing period” means the period—

(a) beginning with the designated day; and

(b) 15ending with the day eight weeks later or, if the returning officer has, on
an earlier day, given notice under section 13 (early termination of recall
petition process), that earlier day.

(8) In relation to a constituency in Northern Ireland, this section has effect as if—

(a) subsection (1)(a) were omitted, and

(b) 20in subsection (4), the words “at the designated places” were omitted.

12 Wording of recall petition

A recall petition issued under section 9(1)(b) shall include—

(a) the statement of reasons in the relevant notice of intent to recall; and

(b) the following words—

25If you think that [name], the member of the House of
Commons for [constituency] should be subject to a recall
referendum, please sign below.

13 Early termination of recall petition process by returning officer

(1) This section applies where, at any time after a returning officer’s recall petition
30notice has been issued, but before the returning officer has issued a recall
referendum notice under section 16, either of the following two conditions is
met.

(2) The first condition is that—

(a) the polling day for the next parliamentary general election is brought
35forward by virtue of section 2(7) of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act
2011; and

(b) the new day is within the period of six months beginning with the day
on which the returning officer‘s notice was issued.

(3) The second condition is that the seat of the member is vacated (whether by the
40member’s death or disqualification, or otherwise).

(4) Where this section applies no further action, except that specified in subsection
(5), is to be taken under or by virtue of this Act in relation to the recall petition.

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(5) As soon as reasonably practicable after becoming aware that this section
applies, the returning officer must—

(a) take such steps as the officer considers necessary to terminate the recall
petition process; and

(b) 5notify the member accordingly.

14 Persons entitled to sign recall petition

A person is entitled to sign a recall petition in respect of a member of
Parliament for a constituency if that person would be entitled to vote on the
designated day as an elector at a parliamentary election in the constituency.

15 10Determination of whether recall petition successful

(1) As soon as reasonably practicable after the end of the signing period, the
returning officer must determine whether the recall petition has been
successful.

(2) A recall petition is successful for the purposes of this section, if the number of
15persons who validly sign the petition is at least 20% of the number of persons
to whom subsection (3) applies.

(3) This subsection applies to a person (“P”) if—

(a) P is, on the designated day, registered in the register of parliamentary
electors for the constituency, and

(b) 20P has attained the age of 18 before the end of the signing period (or
would have done so had he or she not died).

(4) For the purposes of this Act a person (“P”) validly signs a recall petition if—

(a) P signed during the signing period;

(b) P’s full name and address have been provided;

(c) 25P is entitled to do so under section 14;

(d) the returning officer has not, after signature and in the signing period,
received a written request from P that the signature be removed from
the petition; and

(e) any condition imposed by regulations of the kind mentioned in section
3023(4)(b) (conditions for the exercise of entitlement to sign) is met.

(5) Where a person signs a recall petition but the information required under
regulations made under section 23 is not provided, or is not provided in a
legible form, that person‘s signature shall be disregarded in determining
whether the petition is successful.

(6) 35If a person signs a recall petition more than once, only the most recent
signature shall be taken into account in determining whether the petition is
successful.

(7) This section is subject to any provision made in regulations under section 23
about the questioning of the outcome of the recall petition.

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Part 4 Recall referendum process

16 Returning officer’s notice of recall referendum

(1) As soon as reasonably practicable after determining that a recall petition is
5successful, the returning officer shall issue a notice of recall referendum.

(2) Where a notice of recall referendum has been issued, the returning officer shall
hold a referendum on the question set out in section 19, within a period that is
no less than 21 days and no more than 27 days after the date of the notice.

(3) For the purposes of computing the period mentioned in subsection (2)—

(a) 10a Saturday or Sunday;

(b) Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Good Friday; or

(c) a bank holiday or a day appointed for public thanksgiving or
mourning,

shall be disregarded, and for this purpose “bank holiday” means a day that is
15a bank holiday in the part of the United Kingdom in which the constituency is
situated.

(4) Subsection (1) does not apply if it would otherwise require the returning officer
to give notice at a time—

(a) within the period of six months ending with the polling day for the next
20parliamentary general election; or

(b) when the seat of the member has already been vacated (whether by the
member‘s death or disqualification, or otherwise).

(5) For the purposes of paragraph (a) of subsection (4), the possibility that, after
the time mentioned in that subsection, the polling day for a parliamentary
25general election will be altered by virtue of section 1(5) or 2(7) of the Fixed-term
Parliaments Act 2011 is to be ignored.

(6) A notice under this section must specify the day on which it is given.

(7) This section does not apply where, before the notice is issued, the member’s
seat is already vacated (whether by the member‘s death or disqualification, or
30otherwise).

17 Early termination of recall referendum process by returning officer

(1) This section applies where, at any time after a returning officer‘s recall
referendum notice has been issued, but before the day on which the
referendum is held, either of the following two conditions is met.

(2) 35The first condition is that—

(a) the polling day for the next parliamentary general election is brought
forward by virtue of section 2(7) of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act
2011; and

(b) the new day is within the period of six months beginning with the day
40on which the returning officer‘s recall referendum notice was issued.

(3) The second condition is that the seat of the member is vacated (whether by the
member‘s death or disqualification, or otherwise).

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(4) Where this section applies no further action, except that specified in subsection
(5), is to be taken under or by virtue of this Act in relation to the recall
referendum.

(5) As soon as reasonably practicable after becoming aware that this section
5applies, the returning officer must—

(a) take such steps as the officer considers necessary to terminate the recall
referendum process; and

(b) notify the member accordingly.

18 Voting in and conduct of referendum

10A person is entitled to vote in a recall referendum under this Act if that person
would be entitled to vote on that day as an elector at a parliamentary election
in the constituency.

19 Wording of recall referendum question

The question that is to appear on the ballot papers in a recall referendum is—

20 The result of the recall referendum

(1) The returning officer is to determine the result of a recall referendum held
pursuant to section 16(2) and in accordance with this section, as soon as
20reasonably practicable after the date on which the referendum took place.

(2) This subsection applies where more votes are cast in a recall referendum in
relation to a member of Parliament in favour of the question asked in section
19 than against.

(3) Where subsection (2) applies, the result of the referendum is that the member‘s
25seat becomes vacant.

(4) The returning officer must—

(a) immediately notify the member and the Speaker of the House of
Commons of the result of the referendum; and

(b) as soon as reasonably practicable, publish the result of the referendum.

30Part 5 Miscellaneous

21 How entitlement to sign a recall petition and to vote in a recall referendum is
to be exercised

(1) A person who is entitled to sign a recall petition or vote in a recall referendum
35in respect of a member for a constituency in Great Britain may sign it in person,
by post or by proxy.

(2) A person who is entitled to sign a recall petition or vote in a recall referendum
in respect of a member for a constituency in Northern Ireland may sign it by
post or by proxy.

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