Insurance implications of the Recall of MPs Act

This Act became law on 26 March 2015 and introduces a process by which an MP can lose their seat in the House of Commons if there is a successful petition to recall them. It sets out the conditions for triggering a recall petition and the procedures that need to be followed in running a petition.

The process is overseen by a Petition Officer who is usually the same person as the more familiarly termed Returning Officer.

If the Petition Officer notifies the Speaker of the House of Commons (under section 14 (2)(b) of the Act) that the petition has been successful, then the MP’s seat becomes vacant on the giving of that notice. A by-election normally follows.

The Zurich Municipal Select Policy for local authorities, under the part entitled Officials’ Indemnity, has a specific policy extension offering indemnity to the authority in connection with the authority’s involvement in the conduct of the by-election. Where requested by the authority, indemnity also extends to the Returning Officer for the conduct of the election.

Where the legal liability for the process addressed by the Recall of MPs Act i.e. the lead-up to a potential by-election, has been formally transferred to the local authority then the Select policy cover will apply with the Petition Officer being considered as within the term “Returning Officer” for the purpose of the specific Officials Indemnity Elections Extension.