Written evidence submitted by Lucy Allen MP
I broadly support the points made by the 1922 Committee.
MPs should be subject to the same standards of conduct as other politicians, not to a higher standard than say a Council Leader, who may well see themselves as a political opponent of an MP and behave accordingly.
For example, I have a Council Leader who has for many years has carried out personal attacks, targeted abuse, smears, incited others, made false accusations and organised vexatious complaints to a range of organisations. Both the Council and the political party of which he is a member say that no rules are broken by this conduct. Fending off these allegations, none of which have ever been upheld, can be time consuming and career damaging. You are constantly looking over your shoulder for the next fictional claim of wrongdoing. The publication of such allegations on social media can lead to outpourings of rage and abuse, both in person and online.
RE respect policy, I have been repeatedly accused of racism by political opponents for standing up for victims of CSE, despite deliberately not referencing the ethnicity of perpetrators. This could now become a formal complaint, with a headline of “MP reported to standards commissioner for racism.” This would then make its way to my Wiki page in perpetuity.
Whilst no one should subject anyone to unreasonable personal attack in any medium, there cannot be one rule for an MP and different rules for political opponents, who may already engage in unreasonable personal attacks, with no mechanism existing to sanction their behaviour.
The interpretation of the word ‘unreasonable’ is subjective.
Thank you for noting these points.
10 February 2022