Extracts from letter to the Parliamentary
Commissioner for Standards from Mr Robert Henderson
8. I enclose copies of stories from the Daily
Telegraph and Daily Mail dated 26/10/2000. These contain details
of betting by Labour Members on the outcome of the election of
The Speaker. One named member, Frank Roy, has admitted doing so,
but there appears to be a much wider involvement by Labour MPs.
It is noteworthy that there is no suggestion of MPs from other
parties being involved.
9. Such behaviour breaches the Code of Conduct
comprehensively. These are the clauses breached:
ii) Public Duty
Members have a duty to uphold the law and to act
on all occasions in accordance with the public trust placed in
iii) Personal Conduct
Members shall observe the general principle of conduct
identified by the Committee on Standards in public life as applying
to the holders of public office:
Holders of public office should take decisions solely
in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order
to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their
family, or their friends.
Holders of public office should not place themselves
under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals
or organisations that might influence them in the performance
of their official duties.
In carrying out public business, including making
public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals
for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make
choices on merit.
Holders of public office should be as open as possible
about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should
give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only
when the wider public interest clearly demands.
Holders of public office have a duty to declare any
private interests relating to their public duties and to take
steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects
the public interest.
Holders of public office should promote and support
these principles by leadership and example.
Members shall base their conduct on a consideration
of the public interest, avoid conflict between personal interest
and the public interest and resolve any conflict between the two,
at once, and in favour of the public interest.
Members shall at all times conduct themselves in
a manner which will tend to maintain and strengthen the public's
trust and confidence in the integrity of Parliament and never
undertake any action which would bring the House of Commons, or
its Members generally, into disrepute.
Members shall fulfil conscientiously the requirements
of the House in respect of the registration of interests in the
Register of Member's Interests and shall always draw attention
to any relevant interest in any proceeding of the House or its
Committees, or in any communications with Ministers, Government
Departments or Executive Agencies.
In any activities with, or on behalf of, an organisation
with which a member has a financial relationship, including activities
which may not be a matter of public record such as informal meetings
and functions, he or she must always bear in mind the need to
be open and frank with Ministers, Members and officials.
Members must bear in mind that information which
they receive in confidence in the course of their parliamentary
duties should be used only in connections with those duties, and
that such information must never be used for the purpose of financial
10. I ask you to investigate all Members who
placed a winning bet on the outcome of the elections for Speaker
(1) for these breaches of the Code of Conduct and (2) ensure that
all winnings are recorded in the Member's Register of Interests.
26 October 2000