- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Categories: Latest News, Press Releases
Labour’s Swansea East AM Mike Hedges has today welcomed and thrown his support behind moves by a Welsh MP to introduce legislation that will force anyone standing on an independent platform in an election to declare whether or not they are also a member of a political party.
The Bill, which was introduced yesterday in Parliament by Delyn MP David Hanson, was raised under the Ten Minute Rule Motion. Under Mr Hanson’s proposals, if a candidate was found to be a member of a political party after standing and being elected on an independent platform, the election would be declared void, the member disqualified, and a by-election called.
The move to introduce legislation follows the controversy over the election of Winston Roddick in November 2012 as the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner. It was later revealed that Mr Roddick, who stood as Independent candidate for the PCC role, was actually a member of the Liberal Democrats.
Speaking in support of the Bill, Swansea AM Mike Hedges said:
“When standing for political office, every candidate has a duty to be up front and honest with the public, which includes declaring whether or not they are a member of a political party, even when standing as an independent.
“In the past, we know this has not always been the case with members of political parties standing as apparent independent candidates in order to improve their chances of getting elected.
“If the general public and electorate are to have any faith and confidence in their politicians, we need to ensure that the electoral process is as transparent as possible and legally obligating independent candidates to reveal if they are members of a political party would be a positive start.”
Delyn MP, David Hanson, said:
“This law would stop people in political parties from fooling the public into electing them as Independents when in reality they are anything but. I’m sure that there are examples of this across all parties, so this isn’t a party political point but an important step forward for electoral transparency.
“This Bill has cross party support so I hope the Government will support the move to let the public have the information they need.”