Mr John Lyon CBCommissioner for StandardsOffice of the Parliamentary Commissioner for StandardsHouse of CommonsLondonSW1A 0AA18th January 2009Sent by post and fax to 0207 219 0490Dear Mr Lyon,Yesterday Peter Watt, the former General Secretary of the Labour Party, revealed thatGordon Brown MP had a secret, off-the-books, fund of up to £50,000 per year of donationsfor his own personal use. According to Mr Watt, the only record of this fund was kept by MrBrown, unofficially, in an exercise book. We believe the circumstances surrounding this"fund with no name" contravene the rules governing the behaviour of Members of Parliament.
Select Committee on Members’ Interests, First Report, Session 1991–92, “Registration and Declaration of Financial Interests”,
HC 236, paragraph 27 states that Members of Parliamentmust
“provide information of any financial interest or other material benefit which a Member receives which might reasonably be thought by others to influence his or her actions,speeches or votes in Parliament, or actions taken in his or her capacity as a Member of Parliament.”
Mr Brown did not do this.Mr Watt believes that the money was spent on
"personal private polling"
, if this were thecase then it would almost certainly contravene these rules. Whatever the money was spenton, the secretive way in which it was raised, kept and used highlights some seriousquestions that must be asked of Mr Brown in a thorough investigation by the ParliamentaryStandards Commission.
The Code of Conduct
The Guide to the Rules Relating to theConduct of Members
“Members are responsible for making a full disclosure of their interests, and if they haverelevant interests which do not fall clearly into one or other of the specified categories, theyare nonetheless expected to register them.”
Clearly, MrBrown did not do this.
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