Member of Parliament (UK)/Addendum

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This addendum is a continuation of the article Member of Parliament (UK).

Disqualification for membership of the House of Commons

The House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975[1] lays down six classes of office holders who are disqualified:

  • holders of certain judicial offices including High Court and Court of Appeal judges
  • civil servants, whether established or not, and whether full or part time;
  • members of the regular armed forces;
  • full time police officers;
  • members of the legislature of any country outside the Commonwealth; and
  • holders of other offices listed in the Act.

However other enactments and the common law also disqualify a range of people, such as minors and aliens

Among changes since the 1975 Act are

  • the provisions of the Representation of the People Act 1981 for the disqualification of any person who is detained anywhere in the British Islands or the Republic of Ireland (or who is unlawfully at large at any time when he would otherwise be detained) for more than a year for any offence;
  • the provision of section 141 of the mental health act 1983 for the removed from membership of the House of Commons of members who detained under mental health legislation for more than six months - a provision that is shortly to be repealed[2].
  • the provisions of the House of Lords Act 1999, as a result of which hereditary peers, except those that sit in the House of Lords, are no longer disqualified;
  • the provisions of the Disqualifications Act 2000, as a result of which members of the legislature of the Republic of Ireland are eligible to sit in the Commons; and
  • the provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002 as a result of which a person who is subject to a bankruptcy restrictions order has effect is disqualified
  • minor legislative provisions listed by the Parliament and Constitution Centre [3]


References

  1. House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975, legislation.gov.uk
  2. Section 141 of the Mental Health Act to be abolished,Cabinet Office, February 2011
  3. Oonagh Gay Disqualification for membership of the House of Commons, House of Commons Library, 13 October 2004