Bercow launches recall process against convicted MP Chris Davies

Convicted MP Chris Davies will face a recall petition which could force him from his parliamentary seat, Commons Speaker John Bercow has confirmed.

The announcement was made in the House of Commons on Wednesday, little over 24 hours after the 51-year-old MP was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court for faking expenses claims.

Mr Bercow said he will write to the relevant officer in the Conservative MP’s constituency of Brecon and Radnorshire, which will formally start the recall petition process.

Chris Davies
Chris Davies

The Speaker said: “I have received a communication this afternoon from Southwark Crown Court informing me that Chris Davies, the member for Brecon and Radnorshire, has been convicted of providing false or misleading information for a parliamentary allowances claim.

“Since Mr Davies pleaded guilty there can be no appeal against conviction.

“This notification accordingly triggers the provisions of the Recall of MPs Act 2015, and I will accordingly be writing to the relevant petition officer to inform that person that Chris Davies is therefore subject to a recall petition process.

“It’ll be for that officer to make the arrangements for the petition.”

Davies was fined £1,500, ordered to pay £2,500 towards legal costs and told to carry out 50 hours of community service after he admitted submitting two false expenses invoices for landscape photographs to decorate his new office in 2015.

Sentencing judge Mr Justice Edis told Davies the recall process “may end your political career”, warning him it would be left for his constituents to “judge” him.

The recall process can result in MPs who are handed prison terms of less than a year being subject to a petition to oust them.

This triggers a by-election if at least 10% of the electorate in the constituency sign it.

A recall petition involving Peterborough’s former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya is due to close next month after she was jailed for perverting the course of justice.

Davies – who did not benefit financially from the forged documents and apologised for his conduct – holds a majority of more than 8,000 in a constituency where just over 41,000 people voted in 2017.

It will fall on the constituency officer to arrange a petition, which will give constituents six weeks to add their signatures.