MPs may be banned from Parliament bars under sanction changes

A change in the sanctions for violating the members’ code of conduct could prevent MPs from gaining access to bars and restaurants in Parliament.

A report by the Westminster Standards Committee suggested that those violating the Code of Conduct could withdraw services to the property as a result.

As part of the proposed revision of the sanctions system, the Committee also proposes to distinguish between sanctions that affect the core functions of a member and those that do not.

The Committee has been working on its proposals to modernize the current system and “fine-tune” its confidentiality arrangements in the “interests of fairness to all concerned”.

The right to make public corrections is also recommended by the committee and would apply in certain circumstances when materially inaccurate information about allegations against an MP has been published without detracting from the importance of adequate protection for potentially vulnerable parties.

Labor MP Chris Bryant, chairman of the standards committee, insisted that the proposals outlined would “give teeth” to the standards system.

He said: “This is an important moment in the committee’s efforts to help build a robust, transparent and fair system of standards that everyone in the parliamentary community can be proud of.

“For too long, the only sanctions against MPs have been a slap on the wrist or a suspension of the House.

“The reality is that behavior violations are rarely black and white, and so the sanctions in such cases shouldn’t be either.” The suggestions we have made will give teeth to the standard system. “

Mr Bryant also outlined the measures proposed to strengthen confidentiality within the system.

He said: “Our committee also supports calls by the Commissioner for Standards to improve the confidentiality aspect of the system.

“We recommend empowering the Commissioner to take a number of measures to improve transparency while maintaining our commitment to confidentiality and protecting the identity of those in need of protection.

“I would like to thank colleagues and laypeople on the committee as well as the experts who contributed to our report.

“We are now calling on the government to bring these proposals to the House so that they can be agreed as soon as possible.”

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