We have recently sent this proposal to all party leaders, we now address it for consideration by all MP's in the Westminster Parliament.
11th November 2017
The Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP
Speaker of the House of Commons + all United Kingdom Political Party Leaders
Dear Mr. Speaker
I refer to the public letter dated 29th October 2017 sent to you by The Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP, Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party.
In this letter the Prime Minister raised the recent scandal of sexual harassment and mistreatment of Parliamentary staff by some Members of Parliament. On this one issue the Prime minister seeks the development of cross party policies and rules for MP’s and parliamentary staff.
However, the Prime Minister has neglected to raise all recent and historic scandals which continue to plague our United Kingdom Parliament, these include:
1. Sexual harassment and mistreatment of Parliamentary staff.
2. The unlawful coercion of MP’s to vote as instructed by Party Whips, who may hold information which is detrimental or confidential to the MP.
3. The scandal of MP’s expenses and financial privilege which appears to continue unabated.
4. The corrupting influence of powerful interest groups on and in our democratic process.
Along with these wounds on our democracy, we have the present state of the governments Brexit negotiation which is now generally accepted to be unlikely to result in a beneficial outcome for anyone. At the same time our parliament is more divided than ever, and the political parties continue to follow a path which could lead to the breakup of our United Kingdom and the destruction of our democracy.
We believe that this combination of failures have caused an erosion of public trust in our parliament and our democratic institutions which is profound, wide spread and likely to trigger social unrest.
In respect of the Brexit negotiations, the government having lodged the Article 50 Notice with the EU, now believe that it is not possible to reverse the process. But after considering recent legal opinion and public statements made by the EU Commission this view appears to be wrong.
It now appears that it is possible to stop Brexit now and then negotiate with the EU from inside the EU club backed by the strong leave mandate. This would allow a UK Government to have open discussions with the other member states of the EU, whilst still retaining the option to pre-plan for an organised withdrawal at a future agreed date.
It is in this context that we now write you Mr. Speaker, and to the party leaders to respectfully request your consideration of our proposal to join all efforts to re-establish public trust in our parliament, and to allow Members of Parliament an opportunity to rebuild people’s faith in their honesty and integrity.
To achieve this renewal of our parliament, we propose that all MP’s and parliamentary candidates, should sign, adopt, and in future adhere to the terms of the FVVRA Pledge.
The FVVRA Pledge was created by the Free Vote Voluntary Recall Alliance and aims to correct the abuse of power by Party Whips over our elected Members of Parliament and to introduce a Voluntary MP Recall system, administered by a committee external and independent of parliament.
Our first aim is to secure for voters a clear commitment from each MP or parliamentary candidate that they will use their rightful Free Vote on all issues to properly represent their constituents, their area and their country.
Our second aim is to create a clear route for MP’s, employees in parliament and voters to submit complaints, accusations or questions to be investigated by body independent of parliament.
This Standards Committee to comprise of (6) independent volunteers, who will have a duty to inform MPs of any complaint or Recall Request lodged by their constituents, and of any complaint lodged by parliamentary employees or voters. This will give the MP an opportunity to respond before the submission proceeds to independent scrutiny. This process should help to eliminate any request initiated for party political, business or personal advantage.
There is now a clear and urgent need to resolve these wounds to our democracy and to arrive at a Brexit solution which offers future options to all voters, all political parties.
To this end we ask all Members of Parliament to put aside party loyalties and Pledge to serve all our people in a Unified Cross/Party National Government with afive year fixed term and mandated to stop Brexit now.
We have published a range of explanatory documents on our website www.fvvra.org which may assist your consideration of our proposal, and help you to support the adoption of this honorable pledge.
We attach a copy of the FVVRA Pledge for your information and consideration and we will be pleased to provide any additional information you may require.
Gordon E Middleton
for the Free Vote Voluntary Recall Alliance
cc. The Rt. Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of HM Opposition: The Rt. Hon. Ian Blackford MP, Westminster Leader, SNP: The Rt. Hon. Sir Vince Cable MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats:
The Rt. Hon. Nigel Dodds MP, Westminster Leader, Democratic Unionist Party: Liz Saville Roberts MP, Westminster Leader, Plaid Cymru: Caroline Lucas MP, Co-Leader, Green Party.
The FVVRA Pledge
The Free Vote Voluntary Recall Alliance Pledge (FVVRA)
As a candidate standing for election to the Westminster Parliament on 8th June 2017,
I herby give this pledge on my word of honour to the voters of my constituency and to the people of our United Kingdom.
I pledge that as your Member of Parliament. I will pursue the aims and policies presented to the voters in my personal manifesto. I will maintain a continuous review of these policies in light of any change of circumstances that will affect their viability or desirability during the Parliamentary term. I will inform my constituents of any change in my support for any of these policies. I will work diligently to advance the interests of the people of my constituency, my region and my country and I affirm and promise that all of my voting decisions in the Westminster Parliament will be cast as a Free Vote and I will only abstain from voting as dictated by my own conscience and mature judgment.
I confirm that as your Member of Parliament, I will be guided by the Seven Principles of Public Life "selflessness, accountability, objectivity, integrity, honesty, openness and leadership", as drawn up by the Nolan Committee and endorsed by parliament. I also confirm that I will always represent the interests of my constituents and my country above the interests of my party, the Executive or any self interest groups of Lobbyists or Special Advisers who may exist inside or outside of parliament.
I confirm that if called upon to do so, I am willing to serve in a unified cross party National Government dedicated to serve all of our people. I agree that the leader of that National Government should be elected by a majority of all elected MP’s after the election.
I also confirm that I will accept that voters have called for the formation of a National Government if the majority of MP’s elected have signed this pledge.
Wide divisions have now been created in our country by the slender majority that has decided the result of EU Advisory Referendum.I agree that the aim of our National Government should be, to negotiate a reciprocal agreement that addresses the concerns of our United Kingdom and those of the countries of the European Union. I further agree that all members of Parliament should have a vote on any resulting agreement, be that to leave the European Union or to remain inside the European Union.
I will expect to be personally judged as your Member of Parliament on my voting decisions in Parliament, my service to my constituency, region and country and my adherence to the "Seven Principals of Public Life". If at any time, I am presented with verifiable evidence that I have broken this pledge to my constituents, I will resign my post as your Member of Parliament and initiate a new constituency election.
Having agreed to this the FVVRA Pledge myself, I will support the right of any other prospective Member of Parliament or present Member of Parliament to adopt and make this pledge to the people of our United Kingdom.
Candidate for election to the Westminster Parliament
United Kingdom General Election of 8th June 2017