Marcus Fysh has apologised to the Commons Commissioner for Standards for failing to complete the income and expenditure statements for the APPG for education. Fysh also failed to publish mandatory information on the APPG’s website. Sounds fishy…
The matter has not been referred to the Standards Committee, who have bigger fish to fry, after Marcus accepted the decision, apologised and agreed to meet the registrar of interests to ensure all requisite information for the APPG was provided. The Standards Commissioner said:
“My investigation found that Mr Fysh had breached the Rules for APPGs by failing to provide income and expenditure statements for the years 2019 and 2020; and failing to include mandatory information on the Group’s website. I consider these breaches to be inadvertent and that they arose from an inattention to the Rules for 15 APPGs.”
Fysh’s off the hook.
Co-conspirators can read the Commissioner for Standards’s full report below:
The Standards Commissioner has concluded that Henry Smith broke Commons rules by sending out a newsletter using parliamentary stationery. The issue will not be taken further after Henry accepted the decision, apologised and reimbursed the £1,763 costs. In a letter to the Commissioner, Smith said:
“I can confirm that I accept your opinion that an inadvertent breach of the rules took place for which I apologise unreservedly. To ensure no such breach occurs in the future, I have spoken with my staff about this case and reiterated the rules that when responding to constituents they must draft correspondence on an individual basis relating to their enquiry subject matter only and not by way of a more general update… I personally accept your ruling and of course will re-imburse the House of Commons £1,762.61 for the 2,471 second class postage franked envelopes used.”
Guido’s glad Henry seems keen to stamp out this behaviour post-haste…
Matt Hancock has been told he must apologise to MPs for a “minor breach” of the Commons Code of Conduct, with sleaze commissioner Daniel Greenberg ruling Hancock had broken Commons rules by attempting to “lobby” Greenberg over another potential breach of the Code. Now he’s been told to ‘fess up, having previously claimed it was a “misunderstanding”…
Today Greenberg said Hancock had
“sought to influence his consideration of whether a breach of the Code”, with the standards committee adding it “agrees with the Commissioner that Mr Hancock breached paragraph 14 of the Code of Conduct for Members, which concerns lobbying the Commissioner, when sending an unsolicited letter to the Commissioner on March 28”.
More of a (Han)cock up than anything else…
The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has today concluded that Rachel Maclean broke rule 8 of the Code of Conduct for Members. The Housing Minister’s “minor” rule breach arose when she used her parliamentary email address to send 2,429 party political emails to constituents on the day of the local elections. Rachel Maclean accepted the Standards Commissioner’s decision, and outlined how she would prevent a further such breach:
“By sending an email to my constituents on my mailing list using my parliamentary email address on 4 May 2023, I acted in breach of rule 8 of the Code of Conduct. I have taken several steps to prevent the recurrence of the breach, including:
- Ensuring all of my team members undertake additional training so they are more familiar with how the mailing list system works.
- Updating the email address my newsletter is sent from, so it no longer comes from my Parliamentary email.
- I have put in place additional audit procedures within my office team to ensure that mistakes of this nature do not occur again.”
Co-conspirators can read the full report, including the offending email, below:
Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Daniel Greenberg has launched yet another investigation… this time into the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The probe concerns a potential failure to declare an interest, amid questions over whether a childcare business his family has shares in stands to benefit from new policies in last month’s Budget. A Downing Street spokesperson said:
“We are happy to assist the Commissioner to clarify how this has been transparently declared as a Ministerial interest.”
Greenberg’s only been in the job since January…
UPDATE: Angela Rayner makes a fair point
“This Government’s failure to update the rules or publish a register of ministers’ interests in nearly a year has left a transparency black hole which is enabling the Prime Minister and those he has appointed to dodge proper scrutiny of their affairs. If Rishi Sunak has got nothing to hide, he should commit to publishing the register before May’s elections so the public can see for themselves.”
It turns out it’s quite useful to be a luvvie of the chattering metropolitan classes. Despite being found guilty of breaching sleaze rules in the Lords a couple of days ago, you’d be hard-pressed to have read anything about Lord Barwell’s standards breach in the mainstream press. Guido would know – he completely missed the report’s publication…
On the February 2nd, a Lords Standards investigation into Theresa May’s former Chief of Staff concluded he broke the House’s rules on declaring potential conflicts of interests, after a complainant pointed out he’d failed to publicise his ‘Gavin Barwell Consulting Limited’ personal service company on his register of interests.
When responding to the Standards Commissioner’s initial email, Barwell explained he was told he only had to “voluntarily declare” the service, “but only if I did so for all my clients”. Interestingly he chose at that point to declare he was in the process of applying for a leave of absence from the House, which he has now taken…
The investigation was cut and dry. The Commissioner concluded Barwell broke paragraph 12 of the Code of Conduct owing to him not ensuring his entries in the Register of Interests were correct and up to date.
“While the context of Lord Barwell’s discussion with the Registrar of Lords’ Interests about the registration requirements in November 2021 is not completely clear, he did express a clear intention to register all his clients at that time but failed to see through that intention.”
“In the circumstances, as well as correcting his entry in the Register of Interests, I proposed that a letter of apology to Baroness Manningham-Buller, Chair of the Conduct Committee, would be sufficient remedial action in this case. Lord Barwell has since written to Baroness Manningham-Buller (see Appendix 1) and updated his entry in the Register of Interests.”
At least now he’s taken a leave of absence he can focus his attention on persuading his paymasters at Clarion to stop screwing over tenants…
UPDATE: The day after the Standards Commissioner concluded Barwell broke the House’s rules on declaring potential conflicts of interests, Lord Barwell registered a new firm and gave his occupation as “Public Affairs Consultant”.