Commons Panel Rejects Bridgen’s Appeal mdi-fullscreen

The Commons’ Independent Expert Panel has today dismissed an appeal by Andrew Bridgen against a decision by the Commons’ sleaze committee that he broke the code of conduct. Bridgen contested that the sanction imposed on him was “unreasonable or disproportionate”. The IEP, chaired by a retired appeal judge, dismissed the appeal on all grounds…

Bridgen also claimed the Commissioner’s investigation was flawed:

“his criticism is that the Commissioner failed to reflect the suggestion that the complaint against the Appellant was by a journalist who was politically or professionally motivated; failed to investigate properly whether his lobbying was permissible constituency business; and failed to take that factor into account in her recommendations to the Committee. She also failed to reflect the fact that, despite his contract with Mere Plantations Limited to provide services for a monthly fee of £1,000, he had not invoiced them and had received no money from them. He further sought to criticise the Commissioner on the ground that another Member had lobbied in circumstances where that Member owed a relevant debt, but that matter was resolved speedily and without referral to the Committee.”

The IEP replied in their report that “the journalistic or political motives behind any complaint are completely irrelevant.”

Rather than reducing the sentence, the panel notes that in fact the sanctions for breach of the rule against paid advocacy “could properly and fairly have been more severe”. Not the outcome he was hoping for…

mdi-tag-outline Independent Expert Panel Standards Committee
mdi-account-multiple-outline Andrew Bridgen
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