FDA calls for credible process for resolving complaints against MPs

27 April 2012
For immediate release

The FDA today called for a fair and independent process by which allegations against MPs by House of Commons officials can be investigated and resolved.

FDA general secretary Jonathan Baume said:

"The current process for investigating complaints against MPs by senior officials has been shown to be deeply flawed. Why should individuals making complaints against MPs not be treated in the same fair and independent way as in other organisations?

"Senior officers of the House of Commons do not make allegations lightly and would do so only if there was no alternative. Where they feel forced to do so, they run a real risk of damaging - or curtailing - their careers.

"A process that allows a case to be properly considered, and with appropriate sanctions, is urgently required."

The FDA - together with other trade unions that represent House of Commons staff - provided evidence in 2011 to the review of the Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament by the Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards. In that evidence the unions asked for the establishment of a credible and independent process for the investigation of complaints against MPs, and that proven cases of harassment and bullying of Commons staff by MPs would be treated as a breach of the Code of Conduct.

Notes for editors

1. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 18,000 of the UK's senior civil and public servants. Our members include policy advisors, senior managers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, government lawyers, diplomats, crown prosecutors and NHS managers.

2. Members in HMRC are represented by the Association of Revenue and Customs (ARC), a section of the FDA.

3. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".  

4. For further information contact:

  • Jonathan Baume, FDA General Secretary, tel: 020 7401 5555 or 07976 951191.
  • Oliver Rowe, FDA Communications Manager, tel: 020 7401 5588 or 07590 838696.