Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct
of Members |
1. The purpose of this Guide is to assist Members
in discharging the duties placed upon them by the Code of Conduct
agreed by the House. It replaces the Guide approved by the House
on 14 May 2002 (HC 841 (2001-02)). While previous editions of
the Rules derived their authority from Resolutions of the House
rather than from statute or common law, the attention of Members
is drawn to the fact that in respect of registration categories
4, 5, and 6 there are in addition requirements imposed by the
Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act2000 (PPERA) as
amended by the Electoral Administration Act 2006.
2. In most circumstances, registration on the
Register of Members' Financial Interests is sufficient to meet
the requirements of PPERA. The Electoral Commission will extract
the information to which the law entitles them from the published
Register, or, where the publication timescale of the Register
does not permit this, by accessing from the office of the Parliamentary
Commissioner for Standards the information provided by Members
to him. In the latter case publication by the Commission will
sometimes predate publication in the Register.
3. Members remain subject to the jurisdiction
of the Electoral Commission in respect of the permissibility of
donations and loans, and are required to report impermissible
or unidentifiable donations offered and loans accepted over £500
in value to the Commission. PPERA provides controls for the acceptance
and reporting of donations and loans which, if over £500,
must be from a permissible source.
The information required to be reported is explained in the case
of permissible donations and loans under categories 4, 5, 6 and
10 and for impermissible donations is available from the Commission.
4. No written guidance can provide for all circumstances,
and the examples included in this Guide should not be regarded
as constituting an exhaustive list. The Parliamentary Commissioner
for Standards ("the Commissioner") and the Registrar
of Members' Financial Interests ("the Registrar") are
available to give advice.
5. The Guide is divided into four Sections dealing
with (1) Registration of Interests (paragraphs 10-71); (2) Declaration
of Interests (paragraphs 72-88); (3) Lobbying for Reward or Consideration
(paragraphs 89-102) and (4) Procedure for Complaints (paragraphs
6. The House has two distinct but overlapping
and interdependent mechanisms for the disclosure of the personal
financial interests of its Members: registration of interests
in a Register which is open for public inspection; and declaration
of interest in the course of debate in the House and in other
7. The main purpose of the Register is to give
public notification on a continuous basis of those financial interests
held by Members which might be thought to influence their parliamentary
conduct or actions.
8. The main purpose of declaration of interest
is to ensure that Members of the House and the public are made
aware, at the appropriate time when a Member is making a speech
in the House or in Committee or participating in any other proceedings
of the House, of any past, present or expected future financial
interest, direct or indirect, which might reasonably be thought
by others to be relevant to those proceedings.
9. Ministers of the Crown who are Members of
the House of Commons are subject to the rules of registration
and declaration in the same way as all other Members (although
Ministerial office is not registrable and the restrictions imposed
by the ban on lobbying for reward or consideration do not apply
to Ministers when acting in the House as Ministers). In addition,
Ministers are subject to further guidelines and requirements laid
down by successive Prime Ministers ("The Ministerial Code"
These requirements are not enforced by the House of Commons and
so are beyond the scope of this Guide.
5 See Note on permissible donations and loans, after
paragraph 65 Back