Cash for lunches report published

Here's one for Swedish Steven to get his gnashers into... :D

Standards and Privileges - Third Report

1. We have considered a memorandum by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards relating to complaints by Mr John Mann, Member for Bassetlaw, and Mr Kevan Jones, Member for North Durham, concerning a number of specific cases of alleged misuse of dining facilities. The Commissioner's memorandum is reproduced at Appendix 1. In all, 26 Members are the subject of their complaints, and other issues they have raised.[1] We are most grateful to the Commissioner for his extensive and thorough examination of these matters.

2. The Commissioner has himself dismissed the complaints against 14 Members, the reasons for which, in 13 cases, are set out in his memorandum.[2] The fourteenth case involved our Chairman, and this was disposed of separately by the Commissioner as it was the sole case relating to the previous Banqueting Regulations.[3] We reproduce at Appendix 2 the text of the Commissioner's memorandum setting out his reasons.[4]


7. The Commissioner has reported to us on ten complaints involving individual Members, and one against the activities of the United and Cecil Club, the Chairman of which is a Member of this House. In each case, the Commissioner has concluded that it would be unwise and unjust to find the individual Members concerned in breach of the Code.[8]

8. The Commissioner gives three principal reasons for that decision:

* there appears on the evidence before him to be no commonly agreed interpretation of the key provisions of the Banqueting Regulations;
* the cases which are the subject of complaint appear to reflect established common practice on the part of many Members, acting in good faith in accordance with what they understand to be the accepted practice of the House; and
* the practices complained of appear to have gone unchallenged for many years, and certainly pre-date the most recent revision of the Banqueting Regulations in 2000.[9]

9. We agree with the Commissioner on the relevance of each of those three points. We also agree that it would not be right to single out any individual Members concerned for action by the House. However, we are strongly of the view that practice generally in respect of use of the private dining facilities of the House by organisations raising funds for political parties has given the impression that House facilities have been used improperly for party fund-raising, and is in need of reform, as the Commissioner suggests in paragraph 174 of his memorandum. As Mr Mann and Mr Jones have demonstrated, some of the functions in respect of which the Commissioner has reported to us are likely to have breached, either in letter or spirit, the current provisions of the Banqueting Regulations. We believe that political clubs that are engaged in fund-raising for a political party should in future not be allowed the use of House facilities.
Now can we get back to the serious one, 'cash for peerages' and (alleged) attempts to cover it up. :x


Thought this was another thread on Pay As You Dine. Would be a better name for it!!