After Guido revealed this week that Patrick Mercer, the Chairman of the All Party Group for Security, has been taking fees for introducing clients to security consultant who pays him a monthly fee, Labour MP Thomas Docherty has reported the Tory backbencher to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner. Docherty says: “There are serious questions to answer. This appears to be another example of a cosy arrangement between shady businessmen and a senior Conservative.” Quite…
Guido has got hold of the letter:
Dear Mr Lyon,
You may be aware of media reports concerning the Chairman of the All Party Group on Specialist Security and Member for Newark Patrick Mercer.
Mr Mercer sponsored a parliamentary pass for a security consultant named Kevin Horak until November 2011, when Mr Horak became the passholder for the Security APG. He still has this pass.
Whilst a passholder Mr Horack’s company Clearwater Security has paid Mr Mercer £9,500 in consultancy fees.
Mr Mercer in his own words told a journalist that these fees were introductions of potential clients to Clearwater.
When questioned on a potential conflict of interest Mr Mercer responded that this was “a moot point”, but was seemingly unable or unwilling to provide evidence to the contrary.
Though Mr Mercer claims that these introductions are done “exclusively of Parliament” it is my belief that there is scope for investigation to determine that this is indeed the case.
There is prima facie evidence that Mr Mercer’s private business interests are being benefited by his role as the Chairman of the group and given the access granted to Mr Horak, it would appear the parliamentary estate is also potentially open to abuse.
It certainly does not pass the “sniff test”…