Keir Starmer found to have breached MPs’ code of conduct

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Keir Starmer found to have breached MPs’ code of conduct

Keir Starmer has been found to have breached the MPs code of conduct by failing to register eight interests on time, including gifts from football teams and the sale of a plot of land.

An inquiry into the Labour leader was opened in June by the parliamentary standards commissioner, Kathryn Stone, about claims about late declaration of earnings and gifts, benefits or hospitality from UK sources.

Starmer said he was absolutely confident that he had not broken the code of conduct of the MPs.

The commissioner has found that the leader of the opposition failed to register eight interests five more than alleged in the original complaint.

She noted that the breaches were minor and or inadvertent, and that there was no deliberate attempt to mislead The watchdog decided that the inquiry could be concluded by the way of the rectification procedure, without a referral to the committee on standards, which happens in more serious cases. The rectification process involves publishing the details and an apology on the House of Commons website.

A Labour party spokeswoman said Keir Starmer takes his responsibilities very seriously and apologised to the commissioner for this inadvertent error. He has assured the commissioner that his office processes have been reviewed to make sure this doesn't happen again. In the original complaint made to the commissioner, it was said that Starmer had failed on three occasions to register income and hospitality that he had accepted within the 28 day deadline set by the house.

The watchdog looked at Starmer's register entry over the last 12 months and noted four additional late entries.

During the investigation, Starmer informed Stone he was in the process of selling a plot of land for a sum that exceeded the 100,000 threshold for registration set by the house.

Stone found that Starmer had failed to register the eight interests, including the plot of land, and had breached paragraph 14 of the House of Commons code of conduct for members of parliament. She said that breaches were minor and or inadvertent, and that there was no deliberate attempt to mislead.

The inquiry could be concluded by way of the rectification 35 procedure that is available to me under Standing Order No 150. In April, Starmer received an 18,450 advance from HarperCollins for a book he is writing, in which he is expected to set out his vision for Britain.

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

Starmer also received the use of a directors box for two people at Crystal Palace football club worth 720 when the team thrashed the club he supports, Arsenal, on 4 April. It was not registered until May 5th.

He received four tickets for Watford vs Arsenal, worth a total of 1,416, for their March 6 match. The gift was registered on May 6th.

Just Eat also gave tickets to his staff for the Taste of London festival and the British Kebab awards. The donations from the company exceeded the 300 limit for registration on 29 October but were not declared until 23 December.