Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Sixth Report


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


1. We have considered a memorandum by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards relating to the complaints by Mr J Anderson of Larne, County Antrim, Mr D Gordon of Glengormley, County Antrim, and Mr D Morrison of Belfast, against Mr Roy Beggs, Member for Antrim East. The Commissioner's memorandum is appended to this Report.

2. We agree with the Commissioner in upholding the complaints that Mr Beggs —

    (i)  failed to register under Category 8 (Land and property) his interest in the landfill site at Ballyrickard Road, Larne;

    (ii)  failed to declare his interest in the site when tabling written questions and intervening in a debate; and

    (iii)  failed to register under Category 8 (Land and property) his interest in the business premises at Inver Road, Larne.

3. We agree with the Commissioner in not upholding the complaint relating to non-registration of income from the landfill site.

4. Mr Beggs's contribution to the debate on the Finance Bill was brief. He was advocating the strict supervision of landfill sites. He should have made a declaration even though he was not seeking directly to advance his own interests.

5. Mr Beggs told the the Commissioner that —

If I have acted incorrectly then I will be guided as to how I can put things right and accept the consequences.

6. Mr Beggs has breached the rules of the House on the registration and declaration of interests. He should now rectify his entry in the Register. We recommend that he should make an apology to the House by means of a personal statement.

7. We commend Mr Beggs for the helpful way in which he co-operated in full with the Commissioner. As a result this complaint has been disposed of within two months.

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