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Mark D'Arcy, Parliamentary correspondent Article written by Mark D'Arcy Mark D'Arcy Parliamentary correspondent

Week ahead

What's on the agenda in the Commons and the Lords next week?

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  1.  
    16:13: Opposition to bill

    Labour's Frank Dobson provides a voice of opposition to recall.

    The Holborn and St Pancras - who is standing down at the 2015 election - claims it would be undemocratic as "just 10%" of voters could trigger a recall even though the 90% may not want it. The threat to the MP is not that they might lose their job but that they would have to go through a horrible, expensive and personal process even if they survived the recall, he adds.

    Mr Dobson also argues that a recall mechanism would "strengthen the hand" of rich individuals, pressure groups, "vindictive" media campaigns and "unprincipled and manipulated" social media targeting.

    Labour's Frank Dobson
     
  2.  
    @BBCNormanS 16:12:

    BBC's Norman Smith tweets: "The PM is confident Fiona Woolf will carry out her duties to the high standards of integrity required". - No 10

     
  3.  
    15:55: Home Affairs Committee

    As the evidence sessions draws to a close Home Affairs Committee Chair Keith Vaz wishes Fiona Woolf "the best of luck" with her inquiry.

    He tells Mrs Woolf that "if she ever needs anything" from the Committee she "just has to write" to them.

     
  4.  
    15:52: Further powers for inquiry?

    Fiona Woolf tells the Home Affairs Committee that when the inquiry into historic sexual abuse gets under way she "we will be asking very awkward questions".

    If she is unable to get the files she requires for her inquiry Mrs Woolf tells the Committee she will ask the home secretary for further powers.

     
  5.  
    15:50: Home Affairs Committee

    In response to a further line of questioning from Labour MP Paul Flynn on whether she counts as a "member of the establishment" Fiona Woolf tells the committee that she has never been a member of any body that has been linked to the covering up of child sex abuse.

    If she had "there would be no question" of her chairing the inquiry, Mrs Woolf adds.

    Being a corporate lawyer in private practice does not qualify her as a "member of the establishment" she argues, and those that consider her to be one possibly do not "understand the role of the Lord Mayor", she suggests.

     
  6.  
    15:36: Home Affairs Committee

    Home Affairs Committee member Ian Austin, a Labour MP, points to Fiona Woolf's work as a corporate lawyer and Lord Mayor of London as evidence that she is part of "the establishment" and asks whether she thinks the inquiry into historical sexual abuse should be chaired by someone "who isn't a member of that establishment" given that "there is evidence of an establishment cover up" in the Rotherham child abuse scandal.

    Mrs Woolf however disagrees and responds by saying she "is not a member of the establishment".

     
  7.  
    15:26: New supporter?

    Veteran Conservative MP David Davis admits that 10 years ago he probably would have opposed a recall bill, but adds that the chasm between the political classes and the voters has become "too wide" and is now at "crisis point".

    But Mr Davis, whose Commons career has spanned more than 25 years, says the legislation being proposed by the government is not a recall bill as it stands, it is a "parliamentary expulsion bill" - and endorses Zac Goldsmith's plan to amend it to enable MPs to be recalled if 5% of voters in a constituency sign a "notice of intent to recall" and 20% then sign a "recall petition".

    David Davis MP addresses the Commons
     
  8.  
    15:22: Home Affairs Committee

    Labour Home Affairs Committee member David Winnick asks Fiona Woolf whether her "limited background" as a corporate lawyer and Lord Mayor of London meant that she wasn't "aware of the lives of ordinary people".

    Mrs Woolf responds by saying as Lord Mayor she is responsible for many "ordinary people" already, as it is a very "people-focussed role".

     
  9.  
    15:10: Carswell support

    Douglas Carswell supports Zac Goldsmith's amendments to put the recall process in the hands of an MP's constituents.

    He draws an analogy with the judicial system, and says that if 12 lay people on a jury are trusted to pass a judgement in court then so too voters should be trusted to "exercise good judgement". He insists the amendments would not allow "lynch mob justice".

    He says he will support the bill at second reading; with a view to seeking further amendments to the bill as it progresses.

    Douglas Carswell
     
  10.  
    15:08: Home Affairs Committee

    Fiona Woolf tells the Home Affairs Committee that "as a grandmother" every time a case of child sexual abuse makes the news it "hits a raw nerve" with her.

    This, she says, makes her "determined to make this inquiry the inquiry that makes a difference".

     

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