Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Fifth Report

Annex vii1

File note by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

29 JANUARY 2001

He asked me a question which he said was a theoretical question about rules. I said I could not answer a question about any individual Member of Parliament. Mr Parker said he understood that. He asked me whether a Member of Parliament would be required to register a non-executive directorship if it was unremunerated. I replied that he would not, but that the Rules urged a concept wider than receipt of payment and it included benefits. So if a Member had received benefits in any way from a company where they were a non-executive director, they were required to register it.

He then informed me that Mr Vaz had been a director, briefly before becoming a Minister, of a company, General Mediterranean Holding UK. A European conglomerate with headquarters in Switzerland. He said Mr Vaz had been a director, he believed in April and/or May 1999. Mr Vaz's office had informed the Financial Times that he had resigned the directorship and, as he had not been paid for it, he had had advice from my office that he did not need to register it. I said I could not provide any information about any confidential advice given to Members. But, as I had said, if a Member had had a directorship which was not remunerated, he would not be required to register it.

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