Why are sex criminals not AUTOMATICALLY BLOCKED from standing to be an MP?

Sexual crime: is it right that people who have been convicted of much worse offences than touching someone on the shoulder (this was the most usable image I could find) may seek election to Parliament?

Imagine This Writer’s surprise when I read a headline stating that prime minister Rishi Sunak is being urged to block anybody who has been convicted of sexual offences from seeking election to Parliament.

Shouldn’t that be automatic in any case?

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Here’s The Guardian:

At least six MPs have lost their seats because of alleged sexual misconduct since the 2019 general election, and 10 MPs have been suspended from their parties pending investigations.

While all political parties have their own procedures for vetting MP hopefuls, politicians and unions believe formal rules to block relevant candidates will make it easier to “weed out the bad apples”.

A former minister said: “I can’t believe this has to become formal policy, but history shows how bad the working environment in Westminster has become for this to be needed. Working standards for people on the estate are at a pretty low bar.”

The Scottish parliament is expected to vote through rules to bar anyone convicted of a sexual offence and subject to a restriction order from standing to be an MSP or as a councillor [because] like councillors, MSPs were in a position of power and authority and often dealt with vulnerable constituents, an official briefing paper said.

“The roots of this move are grounded in both protecting the public in personal encounters with elected representatives and also a more general reputational concern based on trust and confidence,” the briefing paper said.

A link to the article is below, along with a satirical comment on implications for the future of MP candidate selection that might be a little close to the truth:

It could be argued that introducing such restrictions assumes there is no hope for reform, or that it may lead to “mission creep” that rules out candidates who have been convicted of much more minor offences.

But those are issues that could more rightly be addressed at a more appropriate time.

Aren’t they?

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  1. oeggame1 February 17, 2024 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    If that had been the course way back we wouldn’t have gone to war.

  2. Eric Jarvis February 17, 2024 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    If you look at the rules for who can stand for Parliament convicted murderers aren’t barred. It doesn’t matter what crimes you have been convicted of, you can still be an MP if you have finished serving your sentence. However undischarged bankrupts are banned from standing. Being a criminal is fine so long as you have money.

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