Sir John Butterfill, Mr Stephen Byers, Ms Patricia Hewitt, Mr Geoff Hoon, Mr Richard Caborn and Mr Adam Ingram - Standards and Privileges Committee Contents

3  Ms Patricia Hewitt


32. Ms Hewitt was the Member for Leicester West when she met the undercover reporter on 9 March.[38] The interview was referred to in the Sunday Times article of 21 March and parts of it were broadcast in the Dispatches programme the following evening. Ms Hewitt sought to refer herself to the Commissioner in an e-mail on 22 March but the Commissioner received a complaint against her from the Member for Putney, Justine Greening, later the same day.[39] The Commissioner accepted the complaint for investigation on 23 March.

The Commissioner's findings

33. The Commissioner has not upheld any of the allegations against Ms Hewitt, although he concludes that some of her statements raise wider issues about the House's rules.[40]

34. The Commissioner's main findings in relation to Ms Hewitt are set out below.

  • Ms Hewitt described five ways in which Ministers can be lobbied, but there is no suggestion she had engaged in such activity herself and she was not, therefore, in breach of the rules.[41]
  • Ms Hewitt gave advice about how to remove a regulation and how to change or influence legislation but this was in the context of what might happen after the General Election and was not in breach of the rules.[42]
  • Ms Hewitt spoke about her regular contacts with civil servants but such evidence as there is does not support a conclusion that these contacts were improper.[43]
  • In the meeting with the undercover reporter, Ms Hewitt inadvertently exaggerated the effects of her consultancy role on behalf of Partnerships in Care (PiC) but she took the necessary steps to ensure that her work for PiC did not breach the rules.[44]
  • Ms Hewitt also took the necessary steps to ensure that her work for a private equity firm, Cinven, did not breach the rules; her claim to the undercover reporter that she had spoken to officials on behalf of the firm was mistaken and a "minor slip."[45] She properly registered the payments she received for her work for Cinven.[46]

35. We sent Ms Hewitt a copy of the Commissioner's findings of fact and conclusions. Ms Hewitt informed us that she did not wish to submit evidence.


36. The Commissioner has not upheld the allegations against Patricia Hewitt. We agree with the Commissioner that Ms Hewitt did not breach the Code or the rules, although we do consider that—like the other Members—she was unwise to agree to the meeting. We make no recommendation in this case.

38   Appendix 1, paragraph 307 Back

39   Appendix 1, paragraphs 9 and 10 Back

40   Appendix 1, paragraph 692. The wider issues are considered in the concluding section of this Report. Back

41   Appendix 1, paragraph 685 Back

42   Appendix 1, paragraphs 686 and 687 Back

43   Appendix 1, paragraph 688 Back

44   Appendix 1, paragraph 689 Back

45   Appendix 1, paragraph 690 Back

46   Appendix 1, paragraph 691 Back

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