Tory's unveil 'recall elections' that will allow constituents to boot out scandal-hit MPs

Last updated at 23:52 29 February 2008

Tory leader David Cameron is determined to crack down on improperly behaved MPs

Tory leader David Cameron is determined to crack down on improperly behaved MPs

Voters would have the power to kick out sitting MPs who behave improperly under reforms proposed by the Tories.

With the backing of David Cameron, 27 of the party's MPs yesterday unveiled plans for U.S.-style "recall elections" which could remove scandal-hit politicians.

A fixed proportion of constituents could trigger a vote to eject their MP.

The proposal was seen as a thinly-veiled swipe at former Tory MP Derek Conway, who was thrown out of the party and suspended from the Commons for ten days after making payments from public funds to his student son Freddie.

Mr Conway, the MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, will not stand down from Parliament until the next election, still an expected two years away.

He will earn about £120,000 in salary in that time.

The move is also designed to show the Conservatives want to restore trust in politics following sleaze allegations against MPs from all parties.

Disgrace: Tory MP Derek Conway was suspended from the Commons for ten days

The "recall election" proposal - similar to a system used in 18 U.S. states - came in a joint statement from MPs including frontbenchers Mike Penning, Maria Miller and Ed Vaizey.

One of those behind the move told the Mail there was "huge frustration" at the perception that politicians had their "snouts in the trough".

•LibDem leader Nick Clegg was rebuked by the Electoral Commission yesterday for failing to declare more than £14,000 of donations on time.

Although he had declared the six cash gifts to the Register of Members' Interests, Mr Clegg did not notify the commission within the 30 days required.

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