Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New MPs warned they could lose their seats

I've found this guide for new MPs on the UK Parliament website. Given that almost a third of MPs are taking their seats for the first time, then it's quite helpful that the House authorities have produced a 13 page guide to advise them on everything from stationery to where to grab a cup of tea to how to get their computers sorted out to how to conduct themselves in the Chamber. Funnily enough, it doesn't tell them to cat call, insult and behave like 2 year olds. I wonder where they learn that from?

One bit which took my fancy was the section on swearing their oaths of allegiance to the Queen and this section in particular:

"Members who have not taken the oath or affirmation are unable to draw a salary and must not sit in a debate or vote in a division of the House (once the Speaker has been elected) or they will lose their seat."


I am assuming that the settled will of the voters in any constituency won't be overturned if someone forgets to swear in for some reason, but the wording of that suggests that it might be.

The document also goes on to mention in several places that members may not have switched on mobile phones in the Chamber. I wonder if this is after Willie Rennie's faux pas a few years ago when a very knowledgable and authoratative speech about the Armed Forces was brought to an abrupt end when his mobile phone went off. It was actually my friend Elspeth who was calling him to ask him about a very run of the mill office matter which was immortalised in Hansard as follows:

"That is why the Liberal Democrats believe that it is time for us to go. We have reached the conclusion that our troops should—[Interruption.] I am sorry, Mr. Olner; that is my mobile phone."

I'm sure he wasn't the first and won't be the last..... We took to e-mailing him after that........

2 comments:

Bugger said...

Funnily enough, it doesn't tell them to cat call, insult and behave like 2 year olds. I wonder where they learn that from?


How about from the Labour benches in Holyrood?

Kieran said...

According to this you should set a PIN which should be a memorable date, such as a birthday or anniversary. You know, the sort of thing anyone with a phone made in the last five years could find out when they nick your pass!

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