Have hasty elections given us a cohort of below-par MPs?

There is no shortage in parliamentary history of MPs who have turned out to be liars or bullies or bribe-takers or drunks, writes Andrew Woodcock

Thursday 12 May 2022 21:30
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<p>Neil Parish, who resigned his seat after watching porn in the chamber, had been an MP since 2010 </p>

Neil Parish, who resigned his seat after watching porn in the chamber, had been an MP since 2010

In some of the least diplomatic comments ever made by a minister about his fellow MPs, leader of the Commons Mark Spencer has suggested that the new recruits elected in 2017 and 2019 are, frankly, not up to scratch.

The last two elections, he said, were sprung on the political parties by surprise, and they were forced to find candidates in a hurry to fight seats all over the country. As a result, he implied, a lot of people sneaked through who wouldn’t have made the grade in normal times. Things would be better after the next election – probably in 2024 – when the party machines will have had plenty of time to get the right people into winnable seats.

His comments came in response to the disgrace of Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan, who was forced to resign as MP for Wakefield less than three years after his election in 2019, after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.

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