Declaration of Relevant
Interests when Communicating with Ministers|
1. The Sub-Committee on Lords' Interests has
considered a complaint against Lord Hoyle. The Sub-Committee's
report is printed in the Appendix.
2. The background to this complaint is as follows:
on 26 October 2007 a number of allegations relating to Lord Hoyle
appeared in the Guardian newspaper. Shortly after, on 16
November, a Guardian reporter, Mr Rob Evans, wrote to the
Registrar of Lords' Interests, claiming that Lord Hoyle had breached
the House's Code of Conduct, and asking that the matter be referred
to the Sub-Committee on Lords' Interests. In support of the allegations
Mr Evans enclosed a considerable amount of written material.
3. The Registrar forwarded the letter and supporting
material to the Sub-Committee Chairman, who took the view that,
in the interests of the House and of Lord Hoyle himself, he should
put the complaint before the Sub-Committee for more detailed investigation.
4. The complaint relates primarily to section
8(b) of the Code of Conduct, which requires that Members must
"declare when speaking in the House, or communicating with
ministers, government departments or executive agencies, any interest
which is a relevant interest." It also has a bearing on section
4(d) of the Code, which requires that Members "must not
promote any matter, in return for payment or any other material
benefit (the 'no paid advocacy' rule)".
5. The Sub-Committee has concluded that there
was no deliberate misconduct by Lord Hoyle, and has therefore
not upheld the complaint against him. We endorse this conclusion,
and recommend no further action.
6. We have noted the Sub-Committee's observation
that in the course of its investigation "some fundamental
questions have arisen about the appropriate way to handle complaints
against Members of the House". We shall bring forward recommendations
with a view to clarifying these matters in the near future.
1 Given the nature of the complaint against Lord Hoyle,
Lord Woolf, as Chairman of the Sub-Committee, drew Lord Hoyle's
attention to the fact that he was chairing an independent committee
set up to review arms maker BAE Systems' business ethics. Lord
Hoyle agreed to Lord Woolf conducting the investigation. Back