I write in response to the memorandum from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards concerning the late registration of a one fifth share of a rental property in Somerset. I wish to offer a full explanation as well as an apology.
Last October my office completed a review of all payments received and confirmed that my register was up to date. Alas, at this stage the share in the property was not added, since I am afraid that I misinterpreted the rules.
The value of my share is well below what appeared to be the threshold of £100,000, and any share in the rental income is well below £10,000.
When in January it was drawn to my attention that the threshold in fact related to the value of all property owned - and that the barn should therefore be included - I took immediate steps to update my register.
I accept that this should have been done as soon as the property was given to me (and my siblings), and I accept full responsibility for the error.
Having now carefully reviewed the rules again - at the suggestion of the Commissioner - I do feel that they could be clarified so as to reduce the possibility of confusion.
I repeat my apologies to the Committee for my inadvertent delay in registering the property, and stress that the error was rectified as soon as I became aware of it.
I remain at the disposal of the Committee should you require any further information or clarification.
1 April 2019
Published: 8 April 2019