Sir Keir Starmer found guilty of breaching MPs’ code of conduct

Sir Keir Starmer has been found guilty of breaching MPs’ code of conduct by failing to register eight interests in time, including gifts from football teams and the sale of land.

An investigation into the Labor leader was opened in June by Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone, into allegations of late reporting of income and gifts, benefits or hospitality from British sources.

Speaking at the time, Sir Keir said he was “absolutely confident” he had not breached the code of conduct for MPs.

The Commissioner has now found that the Leader of the Opposition failed to register eight interests, five more than alleged in the original complaint.

However, she noted that “the breaches were minor and/or inadvertent, and there was no deliberate attempt to mislead.”

Therefore, the watchdog decided that the investigation could be concluded through the “rectification” procedure, without referral to the Standards Committee, which happens in the most serious cases.

The rectification process involves posting details and an apology on the Commons website.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

A Labor Party spokesman said: ‘Keir Starmer takes his responsibilities to the Register very seriously and has apologized to the Commissioner for this inadvertent error.

“He assured the commissioner that his office’s processes have been reviewed to ensure this does not happen again.”

In the original complaint to the Commissioner, it was alleged that between March 6, 2022 and May 13, 2022, Sir Keir failed, on three occasions, to record the income and hospitality he accepted, in the 28-day period set by the Lodger.

The watchdog has undertaken a review of Sir Keir’s register entry over the past 12 months and noted four further late entries.

During the inquest, Sir Keir also told Ms Stone that he was in the process of selling land for a sum above the £100,000 registration threshold set by the House.

The Commissioner wrote in her report: “Sir Keir said he had communicated with the Registrar of Members’ Financial Interests about the matter and, having had the land valued in January 2022 and put the land on the market in March 2022 , it was waiting for the sale to end so it could record the correct value.

“I have decided to include this issue as part of my investigation.”

Ms Stone concluded that Sir Keir failed to register the eight interests described above, including the land, and ‘breached paragraph 14 of the Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Commons’.

However, she continued: “I found that, based on the information available to me, the breaches were minor and/or unintended, and there was no deliberate attempt to mislead.

“I have therefore decided that the investigation could be concluded through the rectification procedure 35 available to me under Rule 150 of the Rules.”

In a letter to the commissioner dated June 21, Sir Keir reiterated that the late declarations were “the result of an administrative error within my office”, adding: “I take full responsibility for my register and I am ‘excuse “.

“My office and I have conducted a review of the process to ensure this does not happen again,” he noted.

Sir Keir received an advance of £18,450 from publisher HarperCollins in April for a book he is writing, in which he is expected to set out his vision for Britain.

The sum, which he pledged to donate to charitable causes, was declared a day late, while royalties for two legal books published before the lawyer became an MP were also delayed.

Sir Keir also received a directors’ box for two at Crystal Palace worth £720, when they beat his club Arsenal 3-0 on April 4. It wasn’t recorded until May 5.

He received four tickets to Watford against Arsenal, worth a total of £1,416, for their match on March 6. The donation was registered on May 6.

Just Eat also provided staff with tickets to the Taste of London festival and the British Kebab Awards.

The company’s donations exceeded the £300 limit for registration on October 29 but were not declared until December 23.

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