politics

Jacob Rees-Mogg faces Parliamentary watchdog probe



The announcement came in an update to the website of the office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Stone. The watchdog’s website also announced Ms Stone had opened a separate investigation into Douglas Ross, leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

According to the commissioner Mr Rees-Mogg and Mr Ross are both being investigated over “registration of an interest under category one of the Guide to the Rules (Employment and Earnings)”, referring to paragraph 14 of the MPs’ Code of Conduct.

The relevant paragraph in the code states: “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.”

Although Ministers abandoned plans to try and block Mr Paterson’s Commons suspension for breaking lobbying rules while a review of Parliament’s standards committee was carried out, the move triggered a series of allegations about MPs’ conduct and second jobs.

Mr Rees-Mogg, one of the Prime Minister’s closest allies and who had been a key figure in the Paterson affair, was accused by Labour of failing to declare he received £6m in loans through his company Saliston between 2018 and 2020.

Company loans are not specifically covered by the MPs’ code of conduct, which requires members to register other payments they receive from their non parliamentary duties including salaries, fees and payments in kind. The watchdog has not confirmed if the investigation relates to the loans as it does not comment on individual cases.

But Labour claimed at the time it was an “egregious breach of the rules” with the party’s Shadow Leader of the Commons, Thangam Debbonaire, saying: “A cabinet minister failing to declare millions of pounds of additional income is unacceptable.



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