Tory MP torpedoes move to scrap controversial standards reform amid sleaze row
A Tory MP has torpedoed a move to scrap controversial standards reforms, amid a row about sleaze in Westminster.
Sir Christopher Chope shouted “object” in the House of Commons chamber when a motion on the matter was moved, which meant that it could not be approved on Monday evening.
The motion aimed to rescind the so-called Leadsom amendment, which looked to establish a review of the MPs standards investigation process and delay the suspension of the now former Tory MP Owen Paterson’s for breaking lobbying rules.
The motion also would have endorsed the report which would have suspended Paterson, a former Conservative cabinet minister, from the Westminster Parliament for 30 days if he had remained an MP.
Paterson stepped down as the MP for North Shropshire following the botched attempt by the UK Government to delay his suspension.
Chris Bryant, the Labour MP for Rhondda who chairs the Standards Committee that recommended Paterson’s suspension, has warned the House of Commons would “fall into further disrepute” if it does not bring forward the motion “as soon as possible with proper time allocated”.
The Liberal Democrat chief whip Wendy Chamberlain has described the situation as a “total farce”.
Pete Wishart, the SNP leader in the Commons, said attempts to settle the matter swiftly on Monday night ended “in misery and failure”.
He added: “That all went badly wrong when Christopher Chope piped up to object.”
“They are all in absolute utter chaos – their best intentions to have it kept from debate in the House has gone.”