Strengthening Standards in Public Life — 17 Nov 2021 at 18:41

That this House:
(1) endorses the 2018 recommendation from the Committee on Standards in Public Life that Members should be banned from any paid work to provide services as a Parliamentary strategist, adviser or consultant;
(2) instructs the Committee on Standards to draw up proposals to implement this and to report by 31 January 2022; and
(3) orders that on the expiry of fifteen sitting days from the date on which the Committee makes its report to the House, if no debate has been held on a substantive motion relating to recommendations in that report, the Speaker shall give precedence to a substantive motion on the recommendations in that report tabled thereafter by any Member.
“go to specific Labour candidates and campaigns that support CWU industrial and political aims and to support the selection and election of such candidates.”
“MPs should not accept any paid work to provide services as a parliamentary strategist, adviser or consultant, for example, advising on parliamentary affairs or on how to influence Parliament and its members. MPs should never accept any payment or offers of employment to act as political or parliamentary consultants or advisers.”
“parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole.”
“bring forward recommendations to update the code of conduct for MPs by 31 January 2022”,
“The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.”
“any paid work to provide services as a Parliamentary strategist, adviser or consultant”.
“The risk is that we think it couldn’t possibly happen in this country. The fact is it could, and that is why we need to make sure we don’t take decisions which would lead us in the wrong direction”.
“create incentives for investment into some kind of modern insurance scheme.”
“The rules of procedure would clearly require him-
“to explain what his interest is in this matter.”
“most importantly, how can MPs and Parliament build and promote greater public trust?”
“Any strengthening of the regulation of MPs’ outside interests needs to consider the potential for unintended consequences on the diversity of careers and backgrounds of MPs.”
“Any outside activity undertaken by a MP, whether remunerated or unremunerated, should be within reasonable limits and should not prevent them from fully carrying out their range of duties”.
“Parliamentary strategist, adviser or consultant”.
“two years here is more than enough to know the difference between right and wrong.”-[Official Report, 8 November 2021; Vol. 703, c. 67.]
“borrowed up to £2.94 million a year in ‘director’s loans’ from his UK-based Saliston Ltd between 2018 and 2020.
Parliamentary rules require MPs to be ‘open and frank in drawing attention to any relevant interest’.
Although it does not explicitly cover director’s loans, the code of conduct requires directors to declare ‘taxable expenses, allowances and benefits’.
In the MPs’ Register of Interests, Mr Rees-Mogg disclosed himself as an ‘unremunerated director’ and shareholder of the firm, but did not say he had taken out the loans.
By using ‘director’s loans’-classed by the Government as a taxable benefit-he was able to borrow the large sum at very low interest.”
“as the loans were not earnings, he was not required to declare them to Parliament and he had not broken any rules.”
“the 2018 loan was ‘primarily’ used to buy and refurbish his £5.6 million home in Westminster. He would not say what the rest of the money was for.
But a source in the Commons sleaze watchdog”-
“said the loans should ‘absolutely’ have been declared in the Register of Interests, adding: ‘The whole point of registration is the public should be able to know what is governing your decision-making and the actions that you take.’”
“bought his house, formerly Tory HQ”.
“in February 2018 using a mortgage with Coutts bank, Land Registry documents show.
The £6 million he took in loans includes £2.94 million in 2018, £2.3 million the following year and £701,513 in 2019-2020, Companies House documents reveal.
In the first year he paid no interest, in the second he paid £46,915 and in the final year £2,030-£48,945 in interest over three years, equivalent to a rate of 0.8 per cent.”
“was a director of Saliston Ltd until he joined the Cabinet in July 2019, but retains a 100 per cent shareholding and is a ‘Person of Significant Control’…Saliston Ltd has previously been described as a ‘holding company’ by Mr Rees-Mogg.
“It has £8 million property assets”-
“and nearly £1 million in other investments.
“it took out a £2.87 million bank loan…the same year it lent Mr Rees-Mogg £2.9 million.”
“The loans from 2018 were primarily taken out for the purchase and refurbishment of [my home] as temporary cash flow measures.
All loans have either been repaid with interest in accordance with HMRC rules or paid as dividends and taxed accordingly.”
“Somerset Capital Management LLP’s accounts show its limited-liability members were remunerated with £3.8 million in 2021.”
“Can principles and codes of conduct remain effective if those in office are determined to interpret them as liberally as possible?”
“if people are determined to bend the rules or to try to play right up to the edge of the rules, it is very difficult to do anything about that. You have to draft the rules very carefully to try to ensure they are in the right places, but the Nolan principles are a matter of personal responsibility for anybody in public life. From that point of view, if you purely rely on a compliance system, I think that is second best to people recognising why these arrangements and principles are actually of value in themselves. The purpose of them is not to set up some set of arbitrary rules. They are there in order to ensure that the citizens of this country get the best from their public service, which they are paying for and which they are engaged with and which they rely on. What we want is the best possible delivery of good public services, fairly and honestly in a way in which people can have confidence.”
“we need all in positions of trust to set an example.”
“to provide services as a Parliamentary strategist, adviser or consultant”.
“Bahamas in the winter...they never go on a fact-finding mission to Greenland in the winter!”.
“There is no way I could be an MP without my outside interests. My wife works full time, I’ve got kids and need the money for childcare.”
“I think there are people that quite like getting the extra £20 but maybe they don’t need it.”
“We have to realise that we are dealing with human beings who have families and responsibilities”,
“outside interests beyond what might be considered reasonable, it risks undermining trust in Parliament and Parliamentarians.”
“good behaviour is a very difficult thing to legislate for. I join those who suggest that it really needs leaders-of course, the Prime Minister, Parliament and civil servants-to set the necessary example.”
“apply to anyone who works as a public office-holder. This includes all those who are elected or appointed to public office, nationally and locally”.
“Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.”
“Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour… They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.”
“If a Member is engaged to advise a client on Parliamentary matters affecting the client, and is at the same time free to speak, lobby and vote on those same matters in the House, it is not merely possible but highly likely that the Member will use Parliamentary opportunities in a way consistent with that advice.”
“endorses the 2018 recommendation from the Committee on Standards in Public life that Members should be banned from any paid work to provide services as a Parliamentary strategist, adviser or consultant; instructs the Committee on Standards to draw up proposals to implement this and to report by 31 January 2022-”
“believes the rules which apply to MPs must be up to date, effective and appropriately rigorous;”.
“recalls the 2018 report by the Committee on Standards in Public Life into this matter;”.
“believes that recommendations 1 and 10 in that report form the basis of a viable approach which could command the confidence of parliamentarians and the public;”.
“believes that these recommendations should be taken forward; and supports cross-party work, including that being done by the House’s Committee on Standards, to bring forward recommendations to update the Code of Conduct for MPs by 31 January 2022.”

Debate in Parliament |

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Alba0 1050.0%
Con279 (+2 tell) 4079.2%
Green0 10100.0%
Independent1 3066.7%
Lab0 172 (+2 tell)087.4%
LDem0 11091.7%
PC0 2066.7%
SDLP0 1050.0%
SNP0 37082.2%
Total:280 232081.9%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

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Peter BoneWellingboroughCon (front bench)aye
Philip HolloboneKetteringCon (front bench)aye
Nigel MillsAmber ValleyCon (front bench)aye
Daniel PoulterCentral Suffolk and North IpswichCon (front bench)aye

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