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Recall of MPs Bill (HC Bill 94)

Recall of MPs BillPage 10

(b) on or before the cut-off day,

does not have effect for the purposes of subsection (3) if it results from a late
application for registration.

(5) Any alteration made to the register of parliamentary electors for the
5constituency which takes effect after the cut-off day does not have effect for the
purposes of subsection (3) unless it takes effect under section 13BC(6) of the
Representation of the People Act 1983 (alterations for court orders or errors).

(6) For the purposes of subsection (3), a person validly signs a recall petition if—

(a) the person signs the petition on a day during the signing period on
10which the person is entitled to do so under section 10,

(b) the person has not previously signed the petition,

(c) each condition (if any) imposed by regulations under section 18 of the
kind mentioned in section 18(3)(d)(i) (conditions for the exercise of
entitlement to sign) applicable to the method of signing used is met,

(d) 15the person’s signing of the petition is not invalid for the purposes of
this Act under regulations under section 18 of the kind mentioned in
section 18(3)(d)(iv), and

(e) the person is not within subsection (7).

(7) A person is within this subsection if, on the last day of the signing period, the
20person is not registered in the register of parliamentary electors for the
constituency because the person’s entry has been removed by an alteration
taking effect under section 13BC(6) of the Representation of the People Act
1983.

(8) The Speaker must lay before the House of Commons any notice received under
25subsection (2)(b).

15 Effect of successful petition

(1) If the petition officer notifies the Speaker under section 14(2)(b) that the recall
petition was successful, the MP’s seat becomes vacant on the giving of that
notice.

(2) 30That does not apply if the seat has already been vacated (whether by the MP’s
disqualification or death, or otherwise).

(3) Subsection (1) is subject to regulations under section 18 about the questioning
of the outcome of the recall petition.

Financial controls

16 35Expenses, donations and reporting

(1) Schedule 3 regulates expenditure in relation to recall petitions.

(2) Schedule 4 regulates donations in relation to recall petitions.

(3) Schedule 5 imposes reporting requirements in connection with the financial
control of recall petitions.

(4) 40The Minister may by regulations amend Schedule 4 or 5 to make provision
corresponding or similar to any of the modifications to Schedule 15 to PPERA

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2000 (control of donations to permitted participants) made by or under the
Political Parties and Elections Act 2009 (other than section 20 of that Act).

(5) Regulations under subsection (4) are subject to affirmative resolution
procedure.

17 5Loans

(1) Section 62 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (regulation of loans: power
to make provision) is amended as follows.

(2) In the heading, for “and referendums” substitute “, referendums and recall
petitions
”.

(3) 10In subsection (2), after paragraph (c) insert—

(d) an accredited campaigner in relation to a recall petition.

(4) In subsection (3A), for “recognised third party or a permitted participant in a
referendum” substitute “relevant person”.

(5) After that subsection insert—

(3B) 15In subsection (3A) “a relevant person” means—

(a) a recognised third party,

(b) a permitted participant in a referendum, or

(c) an accredited campaigner in relation to a recall petition.

(6) In subsection (8), at the appropriate places insert—

  • 20“accredited campaigner” has the same meaning as in Schedule 3
    to the Recall of MPs Act 2014 (see Part 5 of that Schedule);”;

  • ““recall petition” has the same meaning as in the Recall of MPs Act
    2014 (see section 1(2) of that Act);.

Final provisions

18 25Power to make further provision about conduct of a recall petition etc

(1) The Minister may by regulations—

(a) make further provision about the conduct of a recall petition;

(b) make provision about the questioning of the outcome of a recall
petition and the consequences of irregularities;

(c) 30make further provision about the giving, sending, delivery or receipt of
notices or other documents under this Act.

(2) Regulations under subsection (1) may—

(a) apply or incorporate any provision of electoral legislation (with or
without modifications or exceptions);

(b) 35amend any form contained in a provision of electoral legislation for use
in relation to recall petitions;

(c) make provision conferring a discretion on any person;

(d) make provision creating a criminal offence;

(e) make further provision about criminal offences under this Act.

(3) 40The provision that may be made under subsection (1)(a) includes, in
particular—

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(a) provision about the notice of petition under section 8, the petition
signing sheet under section 9 or the public notice required under
section 13(7)(b) or 14(2)(c);

(b) provision permitting or requiring the petition officer not to make the
5recall petition available for signing at the designated place or places at
particular times of the day or on particular days;

(c) provision allocating persons registered in the register of parliamentary
electors for a constituency to a particular designated place and limiting
the availability of the petition for signing at that place to signing by
10persons so allocated who are entitled to sign it;

(d) provision about signing a recall petition in person, by post or by proxy,
and in particular—

(i) provision under which an entitlement to sign a recall petition in
person, by post or by proxy may be exercised only where
15conditions specified in the regulations are met;

(ii) provision about what a person must do in order to be regarded
as having signed a recall petition for the purposes of this Act;

(iii) provision about when a person who signs a recall petition by
post is treated as signing it for the purposes of this Act;

(iv) 20provision about when a person’s signing of a recall petition is
invalid for the purposes of this Act;

(e) provision permitting or requiring the petition officer, in determining
under section 14(2)(a) whether a recall petition was successful, to treat
a person who signed the petition as having validly signed it for the
25purposes of section 14(3);

(f) provision about access to, or the supply of copies of, the register of
parliamentary electors for a constituency or documents produced in
relation to a recall petition;

(g) provision about the retention or disposal of documents or other
30information in relation to a recall petition;

(h) further provision about the regulation of campaigning in relation to a
recall petition.

(4) Provision made as mentioned in subsection (3)(e) does not affect—

(a) the question of whether, for the purposes of provision made under
35subsection (1)(b), a person validly signed a recall petition for the
purposes of section 14(3) (whether recall petition successful), or

(b) liability to any penalty arising from a person signing a recall petition
but failing to validly sign it for the purposes of section 14(3).

(5) The outcome of a recall petition may be questioned only in accordance with
40provision made under subsection (1)(b).

(6) The provision that may be made under subsection (1)(c) includes—

(a) provision about how a notice or other document authorised or required
under this Act to be given, sent or delivered is given, sent or delivered;

(b) provision about the circumstances in which, and the time at which, a
45notice or other document is (or is to be treated as having been) given,
sent, delivered or received.

(7) For the purposes of this section, “a provision of electoral legislation” means—

(a) a provision of, or made under, the Representation of the People Acts, or

(b) a provision of other legislation which is a provision relating to
50elections.

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(8) Regulations under this section are subject to affirmative resolution procedure.

19 Performance of the Speaker’s functions by others

(1) The Speaker may appoint a person to perform the functions of the Speaker
under or by virtue of this Act (“the Speaker’s functions”) if—

(a) 5the Speaker is unable to perform them because of absence, illness or for
any other reason, or

(b) there is a vacancy in the office of the Speaker.

(2) An appointment under subsection (1) remains in force until—

(a) the dissolution of the Parliament in which it is made, or

(b) 10if earlier, the termination of the appointment by the Speaker.

(3) If the Speaker is unable to perform the Speaker’s functions for any reason or if
there is a vacancy in the office of the Speaker, the Speaker’s functions are to be
performed—

(a) by a person whose appointment under subsection (1) is in force, or

(b) 15if there is no such person, by the Chairman of Ways and Means or a
Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means.

20 Minor and consequential amendments

Schedule 6 contains minor and consequential amendments.

21 Regulations

(1) 20Regulations under this Act are to be made by statutory instrument.

(2) But that does not apply to regulations under—

(a) paragraph 3(9) of Schedule 1 (regulations made by the Minister about
petition officer’s accounts), or

(b) paragraph 1(4) of Schedule 5 (regulations made by the Electoral
25Commission about the form of a recall petition return).

(3) Regulations under this Act may—

(a) make consequential, supplementary, incidental, transitional or saving
provision;

(b) make different provision for different purposes or areas.

(4) 30The power under subsection (3)(a) includes, in the case of regulations under
section 18 (power to make further provision about conduct of a recall petition
etc), the power to amend legislation (including this Act).

(5) Section 26 of the Welsh Language Act 1993 (power to prescribe Welsh version)
applies in relation to regulations under this Act as it applies in relation to Acts
35of Parliament.

(6) Where regulations under this Act—

(a) are subject to “affirmative resolution procedure” they must not be
made unless a draft of the statutory instrument containing them has
been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of
40Parliament;

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(b) are subject to “negative resolution procedure” the statutory instrument
containing them is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of
either House of Parliament.

(7) Provision that may be made by regulations under this Act for which no
5Parliamentary procedure is required may be included in regulations subject to
affirmative or negative resolution procedure.

(8) Provision that may be made by regulations under this Act subject to negative
resolution procedure may be included in regulations subject to affirmative
resolution procedure.

(9) 10This section (apart from subsection (7)) does not apply to regulations under
section 24 (commencement).

22 Interpretation

(1) In this Act—

  • “the cut-off day” has the meaning given by section 10(4)(a);

  • 15“the designated day” has the meaning given by section 7(5);

  • “the designated place or places” has the meaning given by section 7(5);

  • “late application for registration” has the meaning given by section
    10(4)(b);

  • “legislation” means—

    (a)

    20an Act of Parliament,

    (b)

    an Act of the Scottish Parliament,

    (c)

    an Act or Measure of the National Assembly for Wales,

    (d)

    Northern Ireland legislation, or

    (e)

    an instrument made under legislation as mentioned in any of
    25paragraphs (a) to (d) above;

  • “the Minister” means the Lord President of the Council or the Secretary of
    State;

  • “modifications” includes additions, omissions and amendments;

  • “MP” means member of the House of Commons (and see section 2(4)
    30regarding the time at which a person becomes an MP);

  • “overturned on appeal” means—

    (a)

    in relation to a conviction, quashed, and

    (b)

    in relation to a sentence or order—

    (i)

    varied so that it is no longer a sentence or order that the
    35MP be imprisoned or detained within the meaning of
    section 1(3), or

    (ii)

    replaced with another sentence or order that is not a
    sentence or order that the MP be imprisoned or detained
    within the meaning of that provision;

  • 40“petition officer” has the meaning given by section 6(2);

  • “PPERA 2000” means the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act
    2000;

  • “recall petition” has the meaning given by section 1(2);

  • “the signing period” has the meaning given by section 9(2);

  • 45“the Speaker” means the Speaker of the House of Commons;

  • “Speaker’s notice” has the meaning given by section 5(7) (and see section
    5(6) regarding when it is given and received);

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  • “working 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
    5mourning,

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

(2) References in this Act to the register of parliamentary electors for a
10constituency are to the register of parliamentary electors for the constituency
maintained under section 9 of the Representation of the People Act 1983.

(3) Where under that section two or more registration officers maintain registers
of parliamentary electors in respect of different parts of the same constituency,
then in relation to that constituency—

(a) 15references in this Act (other than in section 14(3) and (7)) to the register
of parliamentary electors for the constituency are to be read as
references to one of those registers in respect of a part of the
constituency,

(b) the reference in section 14(3) to “the number of persons registered in the
20register of parliamentary electors for the constituency on the last day of
the signing period excluding those who, according to their entry in the
register, are aged under 18 on that day” is to be read as a reference to
the number given by—

(i) determining, in the case of each of those registers in respect of a
25part of the constituency, the number of persons registered in
that register on that day excluding those who, according to their
entry in that register, are aged under 18 on that day, and

(ii) then adding together the numbers so determined, and

(c) the reference in section 14(7) to a person who is not registered in the
30register of parliamentary electors for the constituency is to be read as a
reference to a person who is not registered in any of those registers.

(4) References in this Act (however expressed) to the signing of a recall petition by
a person are to be read in accordance with section 11(4).

(5) A duty under this Act to notify (however expressed) is a duty to give notice in
35writing.

23 Extent

(1) An amendment or repeal by this Act has the same extent as the provision of
legislation to which it relates.

(2) Subject to that, this Act extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern
40Ireland.

24 Commencement

(1) The following provisions come into force on the day on which this Act is
passed—

(a) section 9(5) and (6) (power by regulations to amend section 9(4)
45(wording of petition signing sheet));

(b) section 16(4) and (5) (power by regulations to amend Schedule 4 or 5);

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(c) section 17 (amendments to the Electoral Administration Act 2006
conferring power by order to make provision about loans);

(d) section 18 (power to make further provision about conduct of a recall
petition etc);

(e) 5section 21 (regulations);

(f) sections 22 and 23 (interpretation and extent);

(g) this section;

(h) section 25 (short title).

(2) The following provisions (which contain other regulation-making powers and
10related provision) also come into force on the day on which this Act is passed—

(a) section 6(3) and paragraph 3 of Schedule 1, for the purposes of making
regulations under that paragraph;

(b) section 8 so far as relating to the making of regulations under section 18;

(c) section 10(6) and paragraphs 1 and 7 of Schedule 2, for the purposes of
15making regulations under section 13BC of the Representation of the
People Act 1983 (as inserted by paragraph 7);

(d) paragraphs 16, 23 and 24 of Schedule 3 (and section 16(1) so far as
relating to those paragraphs);

(e) paragraphs 3(4) to (6) and 8 of Schedule 4 (and section 16(2) so far as
20relating to those provisions of that Schedule);

(f) section 16(3) and paragraphs 1, 3, 4 and 9 of Schedule 5, for the
purposes of making regulations under those paragraphs;

(g) paragraph 3(6) of Schedule 6 (which amends section 7(2) of PPERA
2000) (and paragraphs 2 and 3(1) of that Schedule, and section 20, so far
25as relating to paragraph 3(6)).

(3) The remaining provisions of this Act come into force on such day as the
Minister may by regulations made by statutory instrument appoint.

(4) Those regulations—

(a) may appoint different days for different purposes;

(b) 30may make transitional, transitory or saving provision.

25 Short title

This Act may be cited as the Recall of MPs Act 2014.

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SCHEDULES

Section 6

SCHEDULE 1 Petition officers

Petition officer’s general duty

1 5It is the petition officer’s general duty to do anything necessary for
effectually conducting a recall petition in accordance with this Act and
regulations made under it.

Performance of petition officer’s functions: delegation, assistance etc

2 (1) Sub-paragraphs (2) and (3) apply in relation to a petition officer for a
10constituency in England, Wales or Scotland.

(2) The petition officer may appoint one or more deputies to perform any or all
of the officer’s functions under or by virtue of this Act.

(3) Each local authority whose area falls wholly or partly within the
constituency must place the services of its officers at the disposal of the
15petition officer for the purpose of assisting the petition officer in the
performance of the officer’s functions under or by virtue of this Act.

(4) “Local authority” means—

(a) a district council,

(b) a county council in England for a county in which there are no
20district councils,

(c) a London borough council,

(d) the Common Council of the City of London,

(e) the Council of the Isles of Scilly,

(f) a county council or county borough council in Wales, or

(g) 25a council constituted under section 2 of the Local Government etc.
(Scotland) Act 1994 (c. 39)Local Government etc.
(Scotland) Act 1994 (c. 39).

(5) Sections 14(5) and 14A(2) and (3) of the Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland)
1962 (appointment of temporary deputy, delegation to assistants and
involvement of officers of local authorities) have effect in relation to the
30Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland in his or her capacity as a
petition officer in relation to a recall petition.

Expenditure

3 (1) A petition officer may recover from the Minister charges in respect of
services rendered, or expenses incurred, by the officer for or in connection
35with the performance of the officer’s functions under or by virtue of this Act
if—

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(a) the services were necessarily rendered, or the expenses were
necessarily incurred, for the efficient and effective performance of
those functions, and

(b) the total of the officer’s charges does not exceed the amount (“the
5overall maximum recoverable amount”) specified in, or determined
in accordance with, regulations made by the Minister, with the
consent of the Treasury, for the purposes of this sub-paragraph.

(2) Regulations under sub-paragraph (1) may specify, or make provision for
determining in accordance with the regulations, a maximum recoverable
10amount for services or expenses of any specified description.

(3) The petition officer may not recover more than the specified maximum
recoverable amount in respect of any specified services or expenses.

(4) But in a particular case the Minister may, if satisfied that the conditions in
sub-paragraph (5) are met, and with the consent of the Treasury, authorise
15the payment of—

(a) more than the overall maximum recoverable amount, or

(b) more than the specified maximum recoverable amount for any
specified services or expenses.

(5) Those conditions are—

(a) 20that it was reasonable for the petition officer to render the services or
incur the expenses, and

(b) that the charges in question are reasonable.

(6) The amount of any charges recoverable in accordance with this paragraph is
to be paid by the Minister on an account being submitted to the Minister.

(7) 25But the Minister may, before payment, apply for the account to be taxed
under paragraph 4.

(8) On the request of a petition officer for an advance on account of the officer’s
charges, the Minister may make an advance on such terms as the Minister
thinks fit.

(9) 30The Minister may by regulations make provision as to—

(a) the time when accounts are to be rendered to the Minister for the
purposes of the payment of a petition officer’s charges, and

(b) the manner and form in which such accounts are to be so rendered.

(10) Any sums required by the Minister for making payments under this paragraph are
35to be charged on, and paid out of, the Consolidated Fund.

(11) In sub-paragraphs (2) to (4), “specified” means specified in, or determined in
accordance with, regulations under sub-paragraph (1).

Taxation of petition officer’s account

4 (1) An application under paragraph 3(7) for a petition officer’s account to be
40taxed (“a taxation application”) is made—

(a) in the case of a petition officer for a constituency in England or
Wales, to the county court,

(b) in the case of a petition officer for a constituency in Scotland, to the
Auditor of the Court of Session (“the Auditor”), and

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(c) in the case of a petition officer for a constituency in Northern Ireland,
to the county court that has jurisdiction where the headquarters of
the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland are situated.

(2) On a taxation application the court or Auditor has jurisdiction—

(a) 5to tax the account in such manner, and at such time and place, as the
court or Auditor thinks fit, and

(b) finally to determine the amount payable to the petition officer.

(3) On a taxation application the petition officer may apply to the court or
Auditor to examine any claim made by any person (“the claimant”) against
10the officer in respect of matters charged in the account.

(4) Where such an application is made in respect of a claim—

(a) notice of the application must be given to the claimant;

(b) the court or Auditor must give the claimant an opportunity to be
heard and to tender any evidence;

(c) 15the court or Auditor may allow, disallow or reduce the claim, with or
without costs;

(d) the determination of the court or Auditor is final for all purposes and
as against all persons.

Section 10

SCHEDULE 2 20Alteration of registers of parliamentary electors

1 Part 1 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (parliamentary franchise
etc) is amended as follows.

2 In section 13 (publication of registers), in subsection (5)(b), for “13BA”
substitute “13BC”.

3 (1) 25Section 13A (alteration of registers) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (4), for “or 13BA(3), (6) or (9)” substitute “, 13BA(3), (6) or (9)
or 13BC(3) or (6)”.

(3) In subsection (5), for “or section 13BA” substitute “, section 13BA or section
13BC”.

4 (1) 30Section 13AB (alteration of registers: interim publication dates) is amended
as follows.

(2) In subsection (7)(a), after “13A(2)” insert “or 13BC(3) or (6)”.

(3) In subsection (7), for paragraph (b) substitute—

(b) in relation to the second interim publication date—

(i) 35section 13A(2);

(ii) section 13BC(3) or (6);

(iii) subsection (3) of this section as it applies in relation to
the first interim publication date.