Lord Failed to Declare Interests in Hand Sanitiser Firm Before Asking Parliamentary Questions

The Earl of Shrewsbury has admitted he was “totally at fault” for failing to declare his interest as a company adviser to SpectrumX, a hand sanitiser manufacturer, before asking multiple questions in the House related to government guidance on sanitiser in October 2021. Following an investigation by the Lords Standards Commissioner, launched after complaints by Tom Winnifrith, the report yesterday concluded Earl Chetwynd-Talbot had breached the Lords’ Code of Conduct – albeit inadvertently:

“Lord Shrewsbury has candidly admitted his failure to register the clients of Talbot Consulting Ltd which constitutes a breach of paragraph 12(a) of the Code of Conduct. I accept Lord Shrewsbury’s explanation that his failure to register his interests correctly was inadvertent.”

The Commissioner gave Chetwynd-Talbot a minor slap on the sanitised wrist, concluding it was “a minor breach”, and that a simple apology was the “appropriate” response to allow him to wash his hands of the probe. The Earl did has he was told, and promised to stay squeaky clean in future:

“As previously stated, Talbot Consulting Ltd is a personal service company. I freely admit that I did not read the rule change in 2020 and was unaware of its existence […] It was entirely through my failure to make myself aware of the change of rules in 2020 that I had failed to register the client’s names following that rule change, and I am totally at fault.

No doubt Lord Shrewsbury will want to wash his hands of this sorry affair…

Hat-tip: Share Prophets

Read the Standards Commissioner’s full report below:

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Shadow Chancellor Did Break Commons Rules

It took just one month for the Commons Standards Commissioner to rule that shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves did break MP sleaze rules over her registration of donations. As Guido pointed out when he reported she was under investigation, this is a ruling against someone who’s accused the Tories of sleaze no fewer than 31 times on Twitter. 

According to the commissioner’s findings, Reeves declared a £2,482 donation from CEG to cover the cost of her Christmas cards outside of the 28-day limit, also failing to register a donation from GMB Yorkshire (£2,500) and a donation from Trevor Chinn (£25,370).

A cool £30,352.

As spelt out in black and white by Stone:

“I have decided that by providing inaccurate information about CEG and registering the donation outside of the 28-day time limit set by the House you have breached Paragraph 14 of the Code of Conduct for Members.”

No doubt if this were a Tory minister Reeves would be the first to point the finger of sleaze…

mdi-timer 1 April 2022 @ 12:34 1 Apr 2022 @ 12:34 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Shadow Chancellor Under Sleaze Investigation

Labour has hardly shied away from gunning for the Tories on sleaze, not least over Flatgate and Greensill. Leading the charge has been Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves, who has accused the Conservatives of sleaze no fewer than 31 times on TwitterIt’s awkward, therefore, that four days ago the Commons sleaze commissioner launched an investigation into Reeves for improper registration of donations and other support…

Paragraph 14, of course, reads:

“Members shall fulfil conscientiously the requirements of the House in respect of the registration of interests in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. They shall always be open and frank in drawing attention to any relevant interest in any proceeding of the House or its Committees, and in any communications with Ministers, Members, public officials or public office holders.”

Back in March 2021 Reeves was out and about suggesting the government’s delay in publishing the ministers’ register of interests was over potential “conflicts of interests”. Over to Kathryn Stone…

mdi-timer 28 February 2022 @ 13:47 28 Feb 2022 @ 13:47 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Boris and Hoyle Clash Over Starmer’s “Mishconduct”

“His own mishconduct, Mr Speaker, is absolutely clear to everybody…”

See also: Starmer’s Office Tries Shutting Down Second Job Earnings Questions

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Boris Slams Labour’s Union Funding Hypocrisy

See also Tory MPs Want Union Cash Ban for Labour MPs 

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Trevelyan Makes Up Second Job Proposals as She Goes Along

Now that Boris has announced plans to restrict MPs’ second job hours to “within reasonable limits“, it looks like the government still hasn’t figured out what those limits are. Speaking on the media round this morning, Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan gave three different answers to the question of how many hours per week an MP could reasonably expect to work at their second job – all within the space of an hour. Classic broadcast round clock-up…

First on Times Radio, Trevelyan claimed it was acceptable to spend “8-10 hours” a week on other work. That number then jumped to “10-15 hours” when she appeared on BBC Breakfast. By the time Trevelyan appeared on the Today programme, the figure had somehow climbed all the way up to “10-20 hours“. It’s worth pointing out that Geoffrey Cox currently works 41 hours a month on his extra-curricular work, so according to Trevelyan, he’d actually be able to double his outside earnings before hitting this floated limit…

mdi-timer 17 November 2021 @ 11:26 17 Nov 2021 @ 11:26 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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