Thank you for writing to me about the standards procedure, Owen Paterson and related matters.
I voted, primarily, to include an Appeal mechanism within the standards procedure, which is something that most MPs of all the different Parties have believed, for some time, to be important and necessary to ensure fairness.
However, I think it’s now clear that the Government made a mistake in bringing this forward at the same time as the Commissioner’s report on Owen Paterson was due to be voted upon. Whilst Mr Paterson would still have faced a rigorous decision on his case in due course under the Government’s proposals, the Government-supported motion obviously struck many people as ‘moving the goalposts’.
I’m therefore pleased that the Government has effectively withdrawn its motion, and did so in a timely way, whilst still seeking cross-party support for important future improvements to the standards procedure.
Please be assured that I appreciate the strength of feeling that you have on these important matters, and I will certainly be taking the views of constituents into very careful consideration when it comes to any future discussions or decisions on Parliament’s standards procedures.
Thank you again for writing to me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking