Welsh voters could gain the right to recall their AMs who are guilty of crimes and force a by-election, according to the leader of the House of Commons. Sir George Young has confirmed that the UK Government will consider extending legislation, which would give citizens the power to recall MPs, to cover members of the National Assembly and the other devolved bodies. Under the proposals, a by-election will be held if at least 10% of people on a constituency’s electoral register sign a recall petition. However, petitions will only be triggered under two strictly defined situations where an MP is convicted in the United Kingdom of an offence and receives a custodial sentence of 12 months or less or when the House of Commons resolves that an MP should be recalled.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “It’s a balance between giving people the right, under certain circumstances, to trigger a by-election, and not simply wait for the next general election, but it’s not a free for all.” The UK Liberal Democrat leader added: “You have to have a certain degree of due process otherwise the whole thing just becomes a kangaroo court.” Sir George Young said the legislation would initially apply only to MPs.