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On 23 June 2020, the House is being asked to asked to approve motions on the establishment of an Independent Expert Panel to consider cases against MPs raised under the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme.

In The Bullying and Harassment of House of Commons Staff – Independent Inquiry Report, Dame Laura Cox recommended that the “process for determining complaints of bullying, harassment or sexual harassment brought by House staff against Members of Parliament will be an entirely independent process, in which Members of Parliament will play no part”.

At its meeting on 27 April 2020, the House of Commons Commission confirmed the implementation plan for its preferred option. It noted that “the House would be asked to consider whether or not there should be a time-limited debate led by a member of the House of Commons Commission in the very rare circumstances where it is asked to implement a sanction of suspension or expulsion of a Member following a panel determination”.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Leader of the House, has tabled three motions relating to the Independent Expert Panel.

The first, entitled “Independent Determination of Complaints of Bullying and Harassment”,

  • reaffirms the House’s commitment to the ICGS,
  • accepts Dame Laura Cox’s recommendation on independence of process,
  • agrees to the Commission’s proposal for an Independent Expert Panel,
  • agrees to its establishment and
  • “expects all Members of this House to cooperate with the Panel’s work and comply with its findings”.The third motion sets out rules that may be applied in the conduct in any such debate.

The second makes amendments to Standing Orders and to the Code of Conduct to establish the Independent Expert Panel and sets out how the House will consider any sanctions against Members determined by the Panel. This motion also provides that a sanction against an MP could be debated for up to an hour.

The third motion sets out rules that may be applied in the conduct in any such debate.

The Leader of the House issued a press release on the motions on 19 June 2020.

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