Committee announce proposed package of reforms to tighten lobbying rules

29 Nov 2021 02:48 PM

The Committee on Standards publishes recommendations for a package of reforms designed to tighten the rules around lobbying, transparency and conflicts of interest in the House of Commons, and make other improvements to the standards system.

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The detailed report is now out for consultation ahead of final recommendations being published in the New Year. The report includes a proposed refresh of the MPs’ Code of Conduct, which would introduce robust new measures to empower the standards system in Parliament to better hold MPs who break the rules to account.

Among the recommendations included in the Committee’s report are:

In addition, the Committee fully supported in its report the principle that it would be wholly inappropriate for any Member to take on paid employment that prevents them from fully carrying out their range of duties. The Committee raised questions about how this principle could be enforced and now seeks consultation responses on this.

The Committee’s full set of recommendations are available in the report alongside a draft refreshed Code of Conduct for MPs. These include other proposals to clarify and update the Code and the rules.

Now the draft proposals have been published, they will be put out for public consultation, ahead of the Committee completing a final report with recommendations in the New Year.

In taking decisions on its final report, the Committee will also take into account the conclusions of a judge-led review which it will commission, into the fairness and compatibility with natural justice of its procedures. A further announcement about this review will be made shortly.

Chair of the Committee on Standards, Chris Bryant MP, said:

“The past few weeks have seen a number of issues raised about MP’s standards, but the key overarching issue here is about conflict of interest. The evidence-based report published by my Committee sets out a package of reforms to bolster the rules around lobbying and conflicts of interest.

“These aren’t the final proposals we’re putting to the House. This report is the Committee’s informed view on what changes we need to tighten up the rules and crack down on conflicts of interests following a detailed evidence-led inquiry.

“We will consult and hear wider views on what we’ve published today before putting a final report to the House for a decision in the New Year. If approved, these robust proposals will empower the standards system in Parliament to better hold MPs who break the rules to account.”

The draft report on the MP’s Code of Conduct is now out for public consultation. The Committee invites submissions through the evidence portal on the website or in writing by 12pm on Thursday 20th January 2022. A full set of consultation questions is available on the Committee’s website.

Further information