UK Politics

Liberal Democratic Party: Carmichael tables amendments to end MP-MSP dual mandates

Press Release   •   Feb 24, 2010 10:57 GMT

Liberal Democrat Shadow Scotland Secretary, Alistair Carmichael has today tabled amendments to the Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill aimed at bringing an end to MSPs and MPs holding both jobs at the same time.

The amendments come in the wake of legislation backed by both the Government and the Conservatives which seeks to end ‘double jobbing’ by Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly (MLAs) who are also MPs. They offer two options:

  • a measure which would end the ability of MPs who are also MSPs to receive salaries from both jobs, along the same lines as the Government and Conservative-backed legislation on MLAs and intended to act as a disincentive

  • an outright ban, which would require any MSP who became an MP – or vice-versa – to stand down from one of the positions within one week of being elected

The amendments have been tabled ahead of the 2010 election in which several MSPs are standing to become MPs, but have not said they will stand down from one of the jobs after being elected.

Commenting, Alistair Carmichael said:

“Scots deserve proper representation, not part-timers. MPs clearly cannot be in two places at once – especially if like Westminster and Holyrood, they are 400 miles apart.

“This demonstrates contempt for the electorate. MPs cannot get away with offering a second rate service to voters and taking them for granted.

“Both Labour and the Tories have admitted that MPs who are also members of devolved bodies cannot do both jobs properly. They have no excuse not to back these amendments which would end this outdated practice in Scotland.”