Three Wiltshire Members of Parliament have voted against the proposal that could see MPs arrested for serious sexual or violent offences banned from parliament.

Just over the majority of MPs voted in favour of the amendment to the risk-based exclusion policy on Monday, May 13, which will see MPs face a risk assessment at the point of arrest.

Among the Conservatives voting against it were Wiltshire MPs Danny Kruger, Michelle Donelan and James Gray.

The Shadow Commons leader, Lucy Powell, said the policy was "the bare minimum of what is required in the interests of safeguarding good working practices.”

Meanwhile, some MPs, such as Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, claimed it would be "unconstitutional".

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: From left to right, Danny Kruger, Michelle Donelan and James Gray were among the MPs voting against the proposalFrom left to right, Danny Kruger, Michelle Donelan and James Gray were among the MPs voting against the proposal (Image: UK Parliament)

It had been suggested that the possibility of exclusion should only occur when the individual is charged, but MPs voted 170 to 169 in favour of it being at the point of arrest.

During the debate, former Shadow Domestic Violence Minister Jess Phillips read out a statement from a woman raped by an MP: “Exclusion at the point of charge sends a clear message to victims that not only will we not investigate unless a victim goes to the police, but we won’t act unless they’re charged, which happens in less than 1 per cent of cases, so what’s the point?”

When approached for comment, Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan said: “I believed setting the bar at charge was better because in this country, we still believe in innocent until proven guilty, to automatically exclude an MP at point of arrest pre judges the outcome of a police investigation which all members of the public including MPs are entitled to.”

North Wiltshire MP James Gray said: "I'm a member of the procedure committee who looks into this matter in very great detail. 

"The procedure committee of the House of Commons recommended that when people are charged with a serious offence - sexual or other violent offence - then they should quite properly be excluded from the House of Commons." 

He added: "If every time someone is arrested - and it may well be an entirely false arrest - that then becomes public, because of the exclusion, then it becomes very hard for them to defend themselves in court.

"So we took the view that excluding someone when they are arrested for the first time is quite the wrong thing to do for that reason."

Devizes MP Danny Kruger said: "I voted against a policy of suspending a member from Parliament simply because they've been accused of a crime.

"This rule will be used by vexatious litigants to stop an MP doing their job on behalf of constituents."