REGISTER OF MEMBERS' FINANCIAL INTERESTS
INTRODUCTION TO THE FEBRUARY 2010 EDITION
This edition of the Register of Members' Financial
Interests is the fourth to be published for the Parliament elected
in May 2005, and is up to date as at 3 February 2010. The information
it contains is identical to that included in the internet version
of the Register of the same date except that in the internet version
entries new since the previous internet version are highlighted.
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.
The purpose of the Register is to encourage
transparency, and through transparency, accountability. The Register
is not intended to be an indicator of a Member's personal wealth;
nor is registration of an interest in any way an indication that
a Member is at fault.
The interests which are to be registered are set
out in the "Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules relating
to the Conduct of Members", first agreed in July 1996
and revised in May 2002,
and February and April 2009.
A number of rule changes made since June 2008 have
resulted in changes to the content and form of the Register since
the last printed edition dated June 2008.
On 9 February 2009, the House agreed to bring together
the requirements of the Electoral Commission and those of the
House in respect of those categories where their interests overlapped.
These are 4 (Sponsorships), 5 (Gifts, benefits and hospitality
(UK)), and 6 (Overseas visits). Members are now no longer required
to report items in these categories direct to the Electoral Commission.
Instead the Commission extracts the information it needs from
the published Registers. As a result, more detailed information
now appears in the Register and it appears in a tabular form.
On April 30 2009, the House resolved that details
of all remunerated employment outside the House should
be registered, with no de minimis threshold applying and
irrespective of the nature of the work done. Members are required
to give the amount of the payment, the name and address of the
individual or organisation making the payment unless legal or
established professional confidentiality applies, and the number
of hours worked for the payment.
Both these changes came into effect on 1 July 2009.
As a result there is a discontinuity in the Register both in
form and in content between entries predating that date and made
under the new rules and those made since then.
There is a further discontinuity in that on 1 January
2010 the threshold for registering donations, that is Category
4 entries, changed as a result of an amendment to the Political
Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, from £1000 to
£1500. As a result, certain donations which would have been
registrable up to the end of 2009 are registrable no longer.
It remains the case that while the obligation to
register outside employment, sponsorship, property and shareholdings
is absolute, in respect of other gifts and benefits the requirement
is only to register those interests which in any way arise out
of membership of the House. Consonant with this principle, the
interests of spouses, partners and dependent children are registrable
by the Member only they if they arise from the Member's position
as an MP or if they are held jointly with the Member or by the
Member on behalf of the other party.
Financial thresholds continue to apply in the case
of certain categories. In the case of interests registered under
Category 1 (Directorships), 2 (Remunerated employment, office
or occupation) and 3 (Clients) no financial threshold now applies.
In the case of Categories 5 (Gifts, benefits and hospitality
(UK)), 6 (Overseas visits) and 7 (Overseas benefits and gifts)
the threshold over which an interest must be registered is one
per cent of the annual parliamentary salary.
In the case of Category 8 (Land and Property), property with a
capital value of more than a hundred per cent of the annual parliamentary
salary and rental income worth more than ten per cent of that
sum are registrable. For Category 9 (Shareholdings) the threshold
is a hundred per cent of the annual parliamentary salary or 15%
of the issued share capital of the company. Categories 4 (Sponsorships)
and 10 (Controlled transactions within the meaning of Schedule
7A PPERA not otherwise recorded in the Register) the threshold
is now £1500 but was £1000 before 1 January 2010. Category
12 (Family members employed and remunerated through parliamentary
allowances) applies the one per cent of salary threshold used
for Categories 5, 6 and 7.
Continuing interests such as employment or property
remain on the Register until the Member asks for them to be removed.
"One-off" benefits such as gifts, visits and donations
appear with their date of registration and remain on the Register
for a year from that date and until they have appeared in one
Entries made in the Register
aim to give a clear description of the nature and scope of the
interests declared. Subject to the Rules, however, each Member
is responsible for the content and style of his or her own entry.
Interests are registered under the following twelve
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. The address of the company must be given. The amount
of each payment received must be registered, as must the amount
of time spent on the work covered by the payment.
2. Remunerated employment, office,
This is the section for registering outside employment,
professions and sources of remuneration not clearly covered elsewhere
in the Register. The appearance of a salary band after an entry
indicates that the Member is providing 'services in the capacity
of a Member of Parliament',
for example making representations to government departments,
providing advice on parliamentary or public affairs or sponsoring
functions in parliamentary buildings. In such cases they must
register the amount of their earnings within bands of £5,000
and, with the exception of speaking or writing engagements, must
also deposit for public inspection an 'agreement for the provision
In all cases the Member must register the amount of each payment
received together with the amount of time spent on the work covered
by the payment and, except where legal or established professional
privilege applies, the name and address of the employer.
In this section Members are required to disclose
the names and addresses (except where legal or established professional
privilege applies) 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 personally
provide services. The amount of each payment must be registered,
together with the number of hours worked.
4. Sponsorship or financial or material
In this section the Member is required to register
any donation of more than £1,000 (if made before 1 January
2010) or £1500 (if made since that date) in the course of
a calendar year received by the constituency association or relevant
grouping of associations which is linked either to candidacy at
an election or to membership of the House, and also any other
form of financial or material support as a Member. A 'linked'
donation is defined as one 'expressly tied to the Member by name
e.g. if it is a contribution to the Member's fighting fund or
a donation which has been solicited or encouraged by the Member'.
The obligation to register does not apply to constituency development
agreements and other arrangements in which the identity of the
Member is not a factor. Since 1 July 2009, Members are required
to register the name and address of the donor, the amount or value,
the date of receipt and acceptance and the status of the donor.
5. Gifts, benefits and hospitality
This section is for the registration of any gift
or material advantage received from a United Kingdom source, which
in any way relates to membership of the House. Tangible gifts
and other benefits over 1% of the parliamentary salary in value
must be registered. The value must be given.
6. Overseas visits
This section covers overseas visits made by Members
or their spouses or partners, which in any way 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. Visits
costing less than 1% of the annual parliamentary salary are not
registrable. Members must give the name and address of the donor,
the amount of the donation or an estimate of the probable value,
and the destination, date and purpose of the visit. Several categories
of visit, made by Members in the normal course of their parliamentary
duties, are exempted from registration. For the most part these
are visits paid for from UK public funds or by a Member's own
Where a fee is received for an engagement abroad
and travel and accommodation are also paid the item is usually
entered under Category 2.
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, currently, more than 100% of the parliamentary
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 the parliamentary
salary is derived.
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) worth
more than 100% of the parliamentary salary at the preceding 5
10. Controlled transactions within
the meaning of Schedule 7A PPERA, not otherwise recorded in the
Loans and credit arrangements entered into in
relation to a Member's political activities should be registered
here. The threshold is as for Category 4.
11. Miscellaneous and unremunerated
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 nature of the Register
as a record of pecuniary and material interests and the wishes
of the Committee on Standards and Privileges, unremunerated charitable
and voluntary commitments are not, of themselves, registered,
though if a material benefit arises from them, that should be
registered in the appropriate category.
12. Family members employed and remunerated
through the Staffing Allowance
Members should register here the fact that they
employ a family member (by blood or by marriage or a relationship
equivalent to marriage) who is remunerated through the staffing
allowance, with the name of the relative, the nature of the relationship
and the job title appropriate to the employment concerned. This
standard job description is annexed to this part of the Register.
The transparency which is the purpose of the Register
is also promoted by the obligation on Members to declare in
debates or proceedings of the House and dealings with other Members,
Ministers or Crown servants, all pecuniary interests or benefits
of whatever nature, including indirect, past and future interests,
which are relevant to the business in hand.
Administrative arrangements and inspection
Under the authority of the Committee on Standards
and Privileges, the Register is published by The Stationery Office
after 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:
Select Index; select letter R for Registers.
It is the responsibility of Members to notify changes
in their registrable interests within four weeks of the change
occurring. Between its annual printings the Register is updated
on the web every two weeks when the House is sitting.
Free internet access to the Register is available
in the Search Room, Parliamentary Archives, London SW1A OPW, by
appointment only (tel. 020 7219 3074), between 9.30 am and 5 pm,
Monday to Friday (closed on Bank Holidays).
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. 735 of Session 2008-09, and
viewed on the Internet at:
Select Index; select C for Code of Conduct.
The website also contains further information about
the rules applying to Members, the procedure to be adopted in
the event of complaints of failure to register, the rules covering
declaration and the rule against lobbying for reward or consideration.
Any queries about these matters may be addressed, preferably in
writing, to the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards,
House of Commons, London SW1A OAA.
JOHN LYON CB
Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
1 HC (1995-96), HC 688 Back
HC (2001-02), 841 Back
HC (2005-06),351 Back
HC Deb (2007-08), 27 Mar cc 382-394 Back
HC (2008-09), 735 Back
As of 1 April 2009, 1% of the annual parliamentary salary has
been taken as being £650, 10% as being £6,500 and 100%
as being £65,000. Back
Resolution of the House 6 November 1995, amended on 14 May 2002.
They are similarly required to provide such an agreement if they
provide services in a parliamentary capacity in respect of any
directorship registered in Category 1 Back
For a full list of these exemptions, see paragraph 47 of the Guide
to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members Back
Resolution of the House 22 May 1974 Back