The change suggested by the Procedure Committee would grant MPs privileges beyond their station. If they are arrested, then the public should know.
In fact, there is a strong argument that the public should be informed specifically because it is an MP who has been arrested.
The change being proposed here is a form of corruption, it seems to This Writer.
The argument about harm to reputation falls because, again, the suggested change would give MPs a privilege that is not afforded to anybody else. What about the harm to my reputation if the police mistakenly arrest me?
But, of course, the MPs who most recently fell foul of the current practice were Tories, and the Conservative Government will be very keen to preserve the reputation of its MPs from harm.
In the current climate of VIP paedophile inquiries (to quote just one notable example), it’s a stance that is impossible to justify.
MPs plan to use human rights laws to keep secret the names of any MPs who are arrested, they revealed today.
They want to hide from the public the identities of any of their colleagues held by police to protect MPs’ reputations.
Currently, police chiefs must write to the Commons Speaker telling them if a Member has been held.
The Speaker must then alert the House of Commons in official documents – meaning the name will become public.
But the little-known Procedure Committee – a body of MPs which regulates how Westminster works – wants to scrap the practice.
It comes after two Tory MPs in the last Parliament were arrested on suspicion of sex offences.
One was charged and later cleared by a jury, while another was not charged. Both were named following their arrests.
An inquiry which started in January today recommended shielding the information from the public.
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