House of Lords Staff Warned They Must Declare “Considerably” More Interests

As the sleaze row in the Commons continues, the House of Lords has also quietly updated its Register of Members’ Staff Interests to expand the range of commitments staffers are expected to declare ahead of the annual audit. In an email sent last night, staffers were reminded of the upcoming audit, and warned that it will be “a bigger exercise than usual” to reflect the changes to the Code of Conduct. The updated Code says that staff must declare:

  • all directorships of companies, paid or unpaid;
  • all paid work outside the House;
  • if [they] are a Person with Significant Control of a company;
  • any shareholdings in businesses or organisations involved in parliamentary lobbying;
  • any gifts (e.g. jewellery) or benefits (e.g. hospitality, services or facilities) totalling a value greater than £300 from a single source in a calendar year if they relate to or arise from [their] work in Parliament (though excluding gifts or benefits from the member who sponsors [them]);
  • any non-financial interest as defined in category 10 of the Guide to the Code of Conduct for members

The context of this is the widespread below the radar “employment” of staff who are lobbyists of some kind or other. They get a security pass which gives them access to parliament and MPs as a by-product. The demand for details of other paid work will bring into view “staff” who are in reality primarily working for third-parties. Assuming they are honest…

The email also advises staffers that they must inform the Clerk of the Parliaments if they’re arrested, charged, or convicted of a criminal offence. Which surprisingly doesn’t appear to have been the case before.

mdi-timer 9 November 2021 @ 08:48 9 Nov 2021 @ 08:48 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Parliament Giving Red Card for Bad Behaviour

The parliamentary authorities are today introducing the latest flimsy attempt to deal with bad behaviour by estate passholders, with a new “it’s not OK” card aimed at giving a warning to those contravening the behaviour code. According to details seen by Guido, the “‘it’s not OK’ cards are part of a trial to help our colleagues when they are facing difficult scenarios at work”, with the aims of:

  • Giving the passholder “a moment to reflect on their behaviour”
  • De-escalate the situation
  • Remind the passholder of the House of Commons values, House of Lords values and the Behaviour Code

The cards are being introduced on a trial for the next few months. Rob Roberts jokes in the new intake Whatsapp group, “Who’s going to be the first to get a “naughty card”?”. Who indeed…

UPDATE: Less than 12 hours later, Guido understands the scheme has now been suspended pending further review…

mdi-timer 23 November 2020 @ 14:10 23 Nov 2020 @ 14:10 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments