Register of Members' Interests Contents



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.[1] 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 of Parliament".[2] 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.

Relevant Remuneration

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[3], 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:  

    web-site design and maintenance by
    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

Not all Members take up these benefits when they are offered, and those who do use them to varying extents.

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.

3.  Clients

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 partner—or 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.

9.  Registrable shareholdings

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 dependent children.

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 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 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.

Rectification procedure

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.


Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

1   House of Commons Paper No. 688 (1995-96). Back

2   First Report of the Select Committee on Members' Interests (1991-92), para. 27. Back

3   Fourth Report of the Committee on Standards and Privileges (1997-98), House of Commons Paper No. 181. Back

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Prepared 24 February 2004