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On 23 June 2020, the House agreed to the establishment of an Independent Expert Panel to consider cases against MPs raised under the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme. It agreed to the functions and responsibilities of the Panel, the method of appointing the Panel and made consequent changes to Standing Orders. The House also agreed an amendment to ensure that any decisions relating to recommendations made by the Panel that needed to be ratified by the House should be decided without debate in the Chamber.

Its functions are:

a) to determine the appropriate sanction in ICGS cases referred to it by the Parliamentary Commissioner on Standards;

(b) to hear appeals against the decisions of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards in respect of ICGS cases involving Members of this House;

(c) to hear appeals against a sanction imposed under paragraph (a);

(d) to report from time to time, through the Clerk of the House, on the operation of the ICGS as it relates to Members of this House

On 24 November 2020, the House will be asked to approve the appointment of the first eight members of the Panel. The House of Common Commission’s report Members of the Independent Expert Panel: Nomination of Candidates was published on 19 November 2020. It outlined the process followed in recruiting and selecting those nominated. It recommended that four candidates should be appointed for the maximum term of six years and that four candidates, including the proposed Chair of the Panel, should be appointed for four years. It provides brief details of the nominated candidates, who are:

Six-year terms:

Four-year terms:

Monica Daley
Miss Dale Simon
Sir Peter Thornton
Dr Matthew Vickers

Mrs Lisa Ball
Mrs Johanna Higgins
Sir Stephen Irwin (Chair)
Professor Clare McGlynn

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”.

A fuller background to the ICGS can be found in the Library Briefing Paper, Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme, CBP 8369.


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