Welsh Liberal Democrats call for Rob Roberts to step down as MP for Delyn
Welsh Liberal Democrats say Delyn MP Rob Roberts should face either a recall election or voluntarily resign to re-stand should he wish to continue as a MP.
Mr Roberts had the Conservative Party whip removed yesterday and is facing a six-week suspension from the House of Commons after an Independent Expert Panel found he breached Parliament’s sexual misconduct policy.
In a statement released after the sanctions were announced, Mr Roberts said he recognised his conduct was a “breach of trust” but said he would not resign, and the judgement would not “alter” his “resolve” to “ensure that the people of Delyn get the assistance they need”.
“Rob Roberts’ behaviour on numerous occasions has been utterly appalling and my heart goes out to his victims. He should not be allowed to continue as our MP under these circumstances,” Andrew Parkhurst who contested the seat of Delyn in 2019 and 2021 for the Welsh Liberal Democrats said.
“It is beyond belief that he will be able to continue serving as our MP for potentially the next three years. In any other job he would have been fired for these actions and it is unacceptable that he is able to continue as our MP.
Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Jane Dodds MS, described the actions of Mr Roberts as truly horrific and said in any other job he would have been shown the door.
“It is clear the Recall of MPs Act needs updating to include suspensions recommended by this new committee which was only formed last year,” she added.
“If the act can’t be amended and Mr Roberts wants to continue as an MP, he should do the honourable thing and resign and contest the seat in the following by-election.”
The UK Government is report to be considering action to shut the “loophole” that is preventing a recall election in Delyn.
If an MP is suspended for 10 sitting days or more by Parliament’s Standards Committee a recall petition is automatically triggered, which can lead to a by-election if it gains enough signatures.
However, sanctions imposed by the Independent Expert Panel, who judge more serious sexual harassment and bullying cases against MPs, don’t automatically trigger a recall.
A UK Government spokesperson said Mr Robert’s case “highlights the need to look again at whether the process is striking the right balance between protecting the confidentiality of complainants and ensuring consistency with other types of conduct cases.”