Blue on Blue: Villiers Grassed By Tory MP Over Lobbyist LunchHeywood Asked to Investigate if She Broke Ministerial Code

Tory MP Anne Main has written to Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood requesting an investigation into whether Theresa Villiers broke the ministerial code when she was Minister of State for Transport. The alleged breach centres on a conflict of interest surrounding a rail freight terminal planning application that is currently before Eric Pickles at DCLG. It is claimed Villiers had a private lunch with a lobbyist named Simon Hoare who she was friends with at university, that the meeting was not disclosed, that there was an attempted cover-up and that the lobbying had an impact on policy. Main alleges “Villiers may have put her personal relationship with Mr Hoare ahead of her ministerial duty”. The letter is in full below:

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“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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