Compassion in Politics has submitted a formal response to the Committee on Standards inquiry into parliamentarian's Code of Conduct.
The Committee is taking views on the contents of the code and methods for ensuring that it is upheld.
The Code provides a guide for parliamentarian's behaviour and sets the rules on a range of issues including acceptance of donations, second jobs, and expenses.
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The Committee was especially interested to receive views on their proposal to expand the Nolan Principles - the (currently) seven values that parliamentarians are expected to uphold. In addition to Selflessness, Integrity, Honesty, Accountability, Openness, Honesty, and, Leadership, the Committee has proposed to add Respect. In our submission we instead made the case for the addition of Compassion - on the basis that this should sit at the heart of any democracy and because it is a well-researched and trainable behaviour.
Our submission also argued for:
- Changes to allow the Speaker to refer a Member of Parliament to the Committee for investigation into their behaviour in the Commons (as it stands, the Speaker has to referee action in the Commons as it happens);
- Making training for MPs compulsory and including compassion within the training programme;
- Adopting a new rule to prohibit Members from making personal or abusive attacks on social media;
- Banning all second jobs;
- Stopping booing and jeering in the Commons;
- Creating a new law to ban politicians from deliberately lying to the public.
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