Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Eighth Report


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


1. We have considered a memorandum from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards relating to complaints by Mr John Cryer, Member for Hornchurch, against Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Member for Cotswold, Mr Michael Fallon, Member for Sevenoaks, Mr John Hayes, Member for South Holland and The Deepings, Sir Michael Spicer, Member for West Worcestershire, and Mr Robert Syms, Member for Poole. The Commissioner's memorandum is appended to this Report.

2. We agree the Commissioner's report is consistent with our Seventeenth Report.[6] We note that the Resolution of the House on declaration of interests, which we and the Commissioner are required to follow, is framed in extremely wide terms—so wide as to lead to genuine possible confusion among Members. The House should reflect on this. We do not consider that minor and inadvertent infringements of the rules, such as these, and those on which we reported in our Seventeenth Report, should be treated as misconduct. We note that the Commissioner did not uphold some complaints relating to declaration.

3. The declaration of an interest does not imply that there is a conflict of interest, and no conflict (or benefit) should be inferred even when we have found that an omission has occurred. We note that Members named in this Report have recognised and apologised for their omissions, and several have a record of diligence in matters of declaration.

4. We recommend that no further action be taken.

6   Seventeenth Report, Session 1999-2000, Complaint against Mr Robert Sheldon, HC 916. Back

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