Sir Keir Starmer under investigation over possible breaches of MP’s rules on earnings and gifts
The Labour leader is being investigated by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
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Sir Keir Starmer is under investigation over potential breaches of rules on earnings and gifts by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.
What matters are being investigated?
The first matter under investigation is stated as: “Registration of interests under Category 1 of the Guide to the Rules (Employment and earnings)”, and the second is stated as: “Registration of interests under Category 3 of the Guide to the Rules (Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources).”
Kathryn Stone, who is conducting the investigation which began on Wednesday (8 June), was looking at the registration of interests under the section on employment and earnings.
A second matter being looked at is a possible breach of the section concerning gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources.
The matters relate to the section of the MPs’ code which states: “Members shall fulfil conscientiously the requirements of the House in respect of the registration of interests in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests.
“They shall always be open and frank in drawing attention to any relevant interest in any proceeding of the House or its committees, and in any communications with ministers, members, public officials or public office holders.”
The nature of the alleged breaches has not yet been made clear.
Rules on employment and earnings state that MPs must register all payments of more than £100 which they reive for work outside the Commons.
Under the section on gifts and hospitality, MPs must register benefits worth more than £300, or multiple benefits from the same source if they exceed that value in a calendar year.
The register shows that, as of the end of May, Sir Keir had registered earnings of £17,598.60 for legal advice given before 2020, the year in which he became the Opposition leader.
It shows the lawyer received the sum on 24 August last year for around 70 hours of work, before registering it seven days later.
Two copyright payments for books written before his election to Parliament in the London constituency of Holborn and St Pancras are also included, as is a £18,450 advance from publisher HarperCollins for a book he is writing.
What has Sir Keir said?
Sir Keir has insisted he is confident he has not broken the rules.
Speaking during a visit to Wakefield in West Yorkshire on Monday, the Labour leader told broadcasters the allegations were not a surprise.
He said: “My office is dealing with it and will be replying in due course.”
Asked if he was sure he had done nothing wrong, he said: “Absolutely confident, there’s no problem here.”
A Labour source told the PA news agency that the investigation centres on a number of slightly late declarations, as Sir Keir has insisted he is confident he has not broken the rules.