Committee on Standards in Public Life
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Committee on Standards in public life believes greater transparency and clearer audit trail required in relation to MP's allowances and expenses
Sir Christopher Kelly, Chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life today commented on the recent report by the Parliamentary Committee on Standards and Privileges on Derek Conway MP. Sir Christopher said
"This case is undoubtedly a very serious breach of Parliamentary rules and further undermines public trust in our politicians.
I understand why there are calls for rules to ban MPs employing members of their families, and indeed, there are international precedents for doing this, and it could be the right thing to do. However, it could also seem a rather harsh answer to the problem. An alternative approach would be to insist on greater transparency and proper monitoring of existing requirements which is generally better than creating new rules and prohibitions.
This is certainly an area which needs review. Before deciding on whether this is a task for my Committee, I would want to see what action Parliament itself proposes to take. I know that many MPs will share the view that the actions of a few can bring all of them into disrepute."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. The Committee's standing terms of reference are: "To examine current concerns about standards of conduct of all holders of public office, including arrangements relating to financial and commercial activities, and make recommendations as to any changes in present arrangements which might be required to ensure the highest standards of propriety in public life".
2. On 12 November 1997 additional terms of reference for the study on the funding of political parties were announced by the Prime Minister as: "To review issues in relation to the funding of political parties, and to make recommendations as to arrangements." The Committee's terms of reference specifically preclude it from investigating individual cases or specific allegations of misconduct. Nor has the Committee any powers to require others to do so. But the Committee may take account of information on material cases in formulating its recommendations.
3. The full membership of the Committee is: Chair: Sir Christopher Kelly KCB, Lloyd Clarke QPM, Dame Patricia Hodgson DBE, Baroness Maddock, The Rt Hon Alun Michael JP MP, Dr Elizabeth Vallance JP and Dr Brian Woods-Scawen DL.
The Committee on Standards in Public Life
35 Great Smith Street
Committee on Standards
in Public Life
35 Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3BQ