Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Twelfth Report


The Committee on Standards and Privileges has agreed to the following Report:—



1. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has reminded us that the rules of the House on the registration of interests require Members who have been elected to the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales or the Northern Ireland Assembly to register their membership under Category 2 (Remunerated Employment, Office, Profession, etc.). All those Members who are required to register have now done so.

2. Any financial interest which requires to be registered falls within the scope of the advocacy rule. A Member of the House who is also a member of the Scottish Parliament (for example) is thereby precluded from initiating any parliamentary proceeding which relates "specifically and directly to the affairs and interests" of the Scottish Parliament; and in participating in a proceeding initiated by another Member he or she may not "seek to confer benefit exclusively" upon the Scottish Parliament.

3. We consider that no useful purpose is served by applying the advocacy rule so as to restrict the participation of Members with a dual mandate in proceedings in which any other Member representing a Scottish, Welsh or Northern Ireland seat could take part without such constraint. We believe that the same considerations apply to Members who are members of the European Parliament or receive remuneration as members of a local authority in the United Kingdom (and who are also required to register their membership). In all these cases membership of the body in question results from a democratic election and is a matter of public record.

4. Accordingly we recommend that paragraphs 58.1 and 58.2 of the Guide to the Rules be amended so that, in the case of a Member who is also a member of the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the European Parliament, or any local authority in the United Kingdom, the expression "a body (or individual) outside Parliament" does not include that body. The restrictions imposed by the advocacy rule will therefore not apply in such cases.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 1999
Prepared 10 November 1999