MISBEHAVING MPs could be sent on anger management courses, barred from restaurants and banned from foreign junkets.
The new punishments have been drawn up by the Westminster sleaze watchdog, a letter seen by The Sun reveals.
Currently, politicians found to have committed minor breaches of expenses rules are allowed to get away with saying sorry – while those found guilty of serious misconduct can be kicked out of the Commons.
Two Cabinet Ministers lost their jobs last year over the ‘Pestminster’ scandal – Michael Fallon and Damian Green.
Ex-Labour MP Eric Joyce was famously arrested in 2012 after a brawl in a Westminster boozer.
But the latest move follows outrage of a lack of action over harassment and bullying in the Palace of Westminster.
In the letter seen by The Sun, Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone has come up with a range of sanctions to deal with those found to have abused staff or colleagues.
They range “in terms of seriousness” from words of advice to training courses and ultimately expulsion from Parliament.
Ms Stone tells Standards Committee chairman Kate Green MP: “I have set out a draft list of what I consider to be useful and meaningful sanctions for Members who are found to be in breach of the Code of Conduct for MPs. These include breaches of the Behaviour Code.
WORDS OF WARNING
“These sanctions are arranged in, approximately, ascending order of seriousness.”
Least serious would be “words of advice or warnings”, similar to those given to office workers who get in trouble.
Next on the list is the “requirement to attend training courses”, in areas such as “equality and diversity”, “dignity in the workplace”, “good employer” and “anger management”.
The watchdog would check with the training provider that the errant MP attended the course, and follow up a year later to see if it had improved their behaviour.
MPs accused of mistreating staff could be told to write a “letter of apology to complainant”, although this would likely mean their bad behaviour is never made public.
More serious offenders could be prevented from sitting on select committees, or travelling abroad on Parliamentary business
Another new punishment would be “withdrawal of services” – such as stopping them going to Parliament restaurants, bars and cafes, or the library.
More serious offenders could be prevented from sitting on select committees, or travelling abroad on Parliamentary business.
The ultimate sanction would remain expulsion from the Commons.
The Standards Committee, a group of MPs that decides on the punishments for those found to have broken rules, is now looking into the proposed list.
It will consider if “new sanctions on Members can be created without disadvantaging constituents or Members’ own staff”.
And it will also look into whether it is “feasible or desirable for that sanction to remain confidential” after a misbehaviour claims.
MPs voted to give anonymity to those under investigation, prompting furious cover-up claims.