REGISTER OF MEMBERS' INTERESTS
INTRODUCTION TO THE JANUARY 2004 EDITION
This edition of the Register, the third for the Parliament
elected in June 2001, records Members' Interests at 31 January
2004. It takes account of recommendations of the Committee on
Standards in Public Life in May 1995 and decisions of the House
of Commons taken in July and November 1995 and May 2002.
In July 1996 the House of Commons approved the publication
of a Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament with a Guide to
the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members.
The Code and Guide were revised in May 2002 in accordance with
a decision of the House following recommendations of the Committee
on Standards and Privileges in their Ninth Report of Session 2001-02
(HC 763). Together the Code and Guide, which have been circulated
to all Members, set out in detail the rules governing the registration
and declaration of Members' financial interests, and provide guidance
on their application.
The Register was set up following a Resolution of
the House of 22 May 1974. The maintenance of the Register is one
of the principal duties laid on the Parliamentary Commissioner
for Standards by House of Commons Standing Order No. 150.
Purpose of the Register
The main purpose of the Register is "to provide
information of any pecuniary interest or other material benefit
which a Member receives which might reasonably be thought by
others to influence his or her actions, speeches or votes
in Parliament, or actions taken in his or her capacity as a Member
Members are required to keep that overall purpose in mind when
registering their interests.
Content and style of entries
Entries made in the Register aim to give a clear description of the nature
and scope of the interests declared. However, subject to the Rules,
each Member is responsible for the content and style of his or
her own entry.
Members have been required since 1974 to register their sources of paid
outside employment, but until 1995 there was no requirement to
disclose the amounts of remuneration. There is still no general
requirement to register the amounts. However, the House of Commons
resolved on 6 November 1995 that any Member who has an existing
agreement or who proposes to enter into a new agreement involving
the provision of services in his or her capacity as a Member of
Parliament must deposit it with me in writing. The agreements,
which are available for public inspection, must include the fees
or benefits of more than £550 (1% of a Member's salary) payable,
in bands of up to £5,000, £5,001£10,000
and thereafter in bands of £5,000, and these figures are
shown in brackets after the Register entries. A Member is not
required to deposit an agreement where he or she is paid for media
work related to his or her parliamentary duties, but is required
to register the amount earned, in the same way.
The rule against lobbying for reward or consideration
Members of Parliament are prohibited from lobbying on behalf of outside
bodies or persons from whom they receive any form of payment in
excess of 1% of their parliamentary salary, if such lobbying is
designed to result in a benefit exclusive to the body providing
the payment. The Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of
Members makes it clear that continuing benefits, ie directorships,
other employment and sponsorship, can be divested to release a
Member from the restrictions imposed by this rule, provided that
there is no expectation of renewal. In the case of any `one-off'
benefits such as visits and gifts recorded in this Register, the
rule applies for the period of a year from registration. The date
of registration appears against the benefit. In their Fourth Report
of Session 1997-98,
the Committee on Standards and Privileges confirmed that the same
time limit should apply to single sponsorships.
Widely offered benefits
A number of benefits are offered to all Members, or to all Members within a particular geographical area. The Guide
to the Rules specifies that gifts and benefits known to be available to all
Members need not be registered, and the Committee on Standards and
Privileges has ruled that this exemption should include benefits made
available to certain Members on a geographical basis.
Among such regionally or generally available
benefits, those which are currently known to be, or potentially to be, of
registrable value are:
Not all Members take up these benefits when
they are offered, and those who do use them to varying extents.
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British Airports Authority Car Park passes (restricted to use on parliamentary business)
First Great Eastern Trains stations car park passes
Thameslink Trains stations car park passes
Southwest Trains station car park passes (restricted to use on parliamentary business)
British Airways privilege cards
British Midland privilege cards
The categories of registrable interests
The form supplied to Members for the registration of their interests
is divided into ten sections.
1. Remunerated directorships
In this section Members are required to register any remunerated
directorships which they hold in public or private companies.
Members are also required to register directorships which are
unremunerated if the companies are associated with or subsidiaries
of a company in which the Member holds a remunerated directorship.
2. Remunerated employment, office, profession etc.
This is the section for registering outside employment, professions and sources of remuneration not clearly covered elsewhere in the registration form. This includes
membership of Lloyd's of London; Lloyd's members are required to disclose the categories of insurance underwritten.
In this section Members are required to disclose the names of clients
(other than companies or organisations already identified in sections
1 and 2, but including clients of those companies or organisations)
for whom they provide services which arise out of membership of
the House; for example, sponsoring functions in the parliamentary
buildings, making representations to Government Departments or
providing advice on parliamentary or public affairs.
4. Sponsorship or financial or material support
In this section the Member is required to register (a) any donation of more than £1000
received by a Member's constituency association which is linked
either to candidacy at an election or to membership of the House;
and (b) any other form of financial or material support as a Member.
This includes any donation in excess of £1000 per year made
by an organisation or company to the Member's constituency party
if the donation is linked directly to the Member's candidacy in
the constituency or to membership of the House. It excludes constituency
development agreements and other arrangements in which the identity
of the Member is not a factor. Like other one-off benefits, entries
relating to contributions to election expenses or to party leadership
campaigns appear in a single edition of the annual printed Register
and are not repeated.
5. Gifts, benefits and hospitality (U.K.)
This section is for the registration of any gift or material advantage
received by the Member or the Member's spouse or partner from
a United Kingdom source, which in any way relates to membership
of the House. Tangible gifts and other benefits over £550
(1% of a Member's salary) in value must be registered.
6. Overseas visits
This section covers overseas visits, made by Members or
their spouses or partners, which relate to or arise out of membership
of the House, where the cost of any such visit has not been wholly
borne by the Member or by United Kingdom public funds. Several
categories of visit, made by Members in the normal course of their
parliamentary duties, are exempted from registration. These include:
visits paid for by, or undertaken on behalf of, the Government
or an international organisation to which the United Kingdom Government
belongs; visits with or on behalf of a Select Committee of the
House; visits undertaken under the auspices of recognised international
parliamentary bodies; visits arranged and paid for wholly by a
Member's own political party; visits paid for wholly by an institution
of the European Community; and visits as part of an Industry and
Parliament Trust fellowship, the Armed Forces or Police Parliamentary
Scheme or the National Council of Voluntary Organisations MP Secondment
Scheme. Here again, the threshold for registration is £550.
7. Overseas benefits and gifts
This section is subject to the same rules as
section 5, but covers gifts and benefits from overseas rather
than UK sources.
8. Land and property
The requirement in this section is to register land or property worth more than £55,000
(100% of an MP's salary) other than any home used for the personal
residential purposes of the Member or the Member's spouse or partneror
from which in aggregate an income in excess of 10% of an MP's
salary (£5,500) is derived, for example holiday homes which
are let for rent or other commercial property or land.
In this section Members are required to register
the name of any public or private company or other body in which,
to their knowledge, they have a beneficial interest in a shareholding
(a) of more than 15% of the issued share capital or (b) a value
of £55, 000 (the current parliamentary salary) at the preceding
5th April. The requirement extends to holdings in which the interest
is held with or on behalf of the Member's spouse or partner or
10. Miscellaneous and unremunerated interests
This is a discretionary section for the registration by Members of
interests which do not clearly fall within any of the above categories
but which they consider to fall within the Register's purpose.
In accordance with the wishes of the Standards & Privileges
Committee and with the Guide to the Rules, unremunerated charitable
and voluntary commitments have not been registered.
Administrative arrangements and inspection
Under the authority of the Select Committee on Standards and Privileges,
the Register is published by The Stationery Office at the beginning
of a Parliament and thereafter approximately once a year. The
published Register and its regular updates are on the Internet
and can be accessed as follows:www.parliament.uk Select Index;
select letter `R' for Register of Members' Interests.It
is the responsibility of Members to notify changes in their registrable
interests within four weeks of the change occurring; and between
its annual printings the Register is updated in a looseleaf version.
The looseleaf version is open for public inspection in the Committee
Office of the House of Commons (Tel: 020 7219 4300). It may be
inspected when the House is sitting between 11 am and 5 pm on
Monday to Thursday and between 11 am and 3 pm on Friday. During
parliamentary recesses, and especially during August, the hours
of inspection are more limited. A copy of the current looseleaf
Register is also placed in the Library of the House of Commons
for the use of Members.Copies of the Code of Conduct and Guide
to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members may be obtained
from The Stationery Office as House of Commons paper no. 841 of
Session 2001-2002, and on the Internet at:www.parliament.uk Select
Index; select `C' for Code of Conduct.
Any complaint about the failure of a Member of Parliament
to register interests or uphold the Code of Conduct according
to the rules of the House of Commons should be made in writing
to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, House of Commons,
London SW1A 0AA.
On 30 October 2001 the Committee on Standards and
Privileges endorsed a rectification procedure, for use at the
Commissioner's discretion following a complaint, in the case of
admitted failures to register or declare interests where the interest
involved is minor or the failure to register or declare was inadvertent.
Entries made under this procedure are printed in bold italic
type and accompanied by an explanatory footnote. The Committee
may occasionally itself recommend a similar entry in respect of
cases which it has considered.
SIR PHILIP MAWER
Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
1 House of Commons Paper No. 688 (1995-96). Back
First Report of the Select Committee on Members' Interests (1991-92),
para. 27. Back
Fourth Report of the Committee on Standards and Privileges (1997-98),
House of Commons Paper No. 181. Back