Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Seventh Report


Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards from Mr John C Jones

I am writing to draw some issues of concern to your attention regarding Ken Livingstone MP for Brent East. I read this information in Hugh Muir's column in the Evening Standard on 1st December 1999. I am writing now as it appears that no one has yet referred the matter to you. If the story reported is true, I am concerned that Mr Livingstone may not have acted in the way expected of an MP.

Mr Livingstone is a client of 'Speakers for Business' a company which hires people for events and after dinner speeches. I understand that Mr Livingstone has been receiving regular payments of up to £1,600 for each event and that he has not declared any of this income which would appear to come from his status as a Member of Parliament on the Register of Members Interests.

I know that there are quite strict rules governing the involvement of MPs in lobbying firms and it seems to me that this is little different.

I am also concerned that Mr Livingstone has not declared either the source or proportion of income which he has received as a result of being an MP and which has been paid to his company, LocalAction Ltd. I wonder if you would clarify your views on these matters and consider whether they represent the standard required of Members of Parliament. I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

19 December 1999

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