Member of Parliament (United Kingdom)
This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
All 650 Members of Parliament are elected using the first past the post in single member constituencies across the whole of the United Kingdom in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland where each constituency has its own single representative.
All MP positions become simultaneously vacant for elections held on a five-year cycle. The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 sets out that ordinary general elections are held on the first Thursday in May, every five years.
If a vacancy arises at another time, due to death or resignation, then a constituency vacancy may be filled by a by-election.
Under the Recall of MPs Act 2015 a by-election can be called if more than 10% of registered voters within the constituency concerned sign a petition of recall if an MP is found guilty of wrongdoing.
Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion … Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament.
The first duty of a member of Parliament is to do what he thinks in his faithful and disinterested judgement is right and necessary for the honour and safety of Great Britain. His second duty is to his constituents, of whom he is the representative but not the delegate. Burke's famous declaration on this subject is well known. It is only in the third place that his duty to party organization or programme takes rank. All these three loyalties should be observed, but there in no doubt of the order in which they stand under any healthy manifestation of democracy.
Contemporary MPs are considered to have two duties, or three if they belong to a political party. Their primary responsibility is to act in the national interest. Their must also act in the interests of their constituents where this does not override their primary responsibility. Finally, if they belong to a political party, they may act in the interests of that party, subordinate to the other two responsibilities.
- "What MPs do". UK Parliament. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
- "Fixed-term Parlliaments Act 2011". UK Legislation. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
- "House of Commons - Modernisation of the House of Commons - First Report". publications.parliament.uk.
- "Fixing Brexit: How parliament's checks and balances can solve our political crisis". The Independent. 1 March 2019.
- Gauja, Anika (22 April 2016). "Political Parties and Elections: Legislating for Representative Democracy". Routledge – via Google Books.
- Commons, Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of (20 June 2007). "Revitalising the Chamber: the role of the back bench Member, first report of session 2006-07, report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence". The Stationery Office – via Google Books.
- Dimock, Susan (16 September 2016). "Classic Readings and Cases in the Philosophy of Law". Routledge – via Google Books.
- Deacon, Michael (3 February 2017). "Why Churchill would have defended our 'enemies of democracy'" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.