The Register of Members' Financial Interests Contents


This edition of the Register of Members' Financial Interests is the fourth to be published for the Parliament elected in May 2005, and is up to date as at 3 February 2010. The information it contains is identical to that included in the internet version of the Register of the same date except that in the internet version entries new since the previous internet version are highlighted.

The Register was set up following a Resolution of the House of 22 May 1974. The maintenance of the Register is one of the principal duties laid on the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards by House of Commons Standing Order No. 150.

The purpose of the Register is to encourage transparency, and through transparency, accountability. The Register is not intended to be an indicator of a Member's personal wealth; nor is registration of an interest in any way an indication that a Member is at fault.

The interests which are to be registered are set out in the "Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members", first agreed in July 1996[1] and revised in May 2002[2], July 2005[3], March 2008[4] and February and April 2009[5].

A number of rule changes made since June 2008 have resulted in changes to the content and form of the Register since the last printed edition dated June 2008.

On 9 February 2009, the House agreed to bring together the requirements of the Electoral Commission and those of the House in respect of those categories where their interests overlapped. These are 4 (Sponsorships), 5 (Gifts, benefits and hospitality (UK)), and 6 (Overseas visits). Members are now no longer required to report items in these categories direct to the Electoral Commission. Instead the Commission extracts the information it needs from the published Registers. As a result, more detailed information now appears in the Register and it appears in a tabular form.

On April 30 2009, the House resolved that details of all remunerated employment outside the House should be registered, with no de minimis threshold applying and irrespective of the nature of the work done. Members are required to give the amount of the payment, the name and address of the individual or organisation making the payment unless legal or established professional confidentiality applies, and the number of hours worked for the payment.

Both these changes came into effect on 1 July 2009. As a result there is a discontinuity in the Register both in form and in content between entries predating that date and made under the new rules and those made since then.

There is a further discontinuity in that on 1 January 2010 the threshold for registering donations, that is Category 4 entries, changed as a result of an amendment to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, from £1000 to £1500. As a result, certain donations which would have been registrable up to the end of 2009 are registrable no longer.

It remains the case that while the obligation to register outside employment, sponsorship, property and shareholdings is absolute, in respect of other gifts and benefits the requirement is only to register those interests which in any way arise out of membership of the House. Consonant with this principle, the interests of spouses, partners and dependent children are registrable by the Member only they if they arise from the Member's position as an MP or if they are held jointly with the Member or by the Member on behalf of the other party.

Financial thresholds continue to apply in the case of certain categories. In the case of interests registered under Category 1 (Directorships), 2 (Remunerated employment, office or occupation) and 3 (Clients) no financial threshold now applies. In the case of Categories 5 (Gifts, benefits and hospitality (UK)), 6 (Overseas visits) and 7 (Overseas benefits and gifts) the threshold over which an interest must be registered is one per cent of the annual parliamentary salary[6]. In the case of Category 8 (Land and Property), property with a capital value of more than a hundred per cent of the annual parliamentary salary and rental income worth more than ten per cent of that sum are registrable. For Category 9 (Shareholdings) the threshold is a hundred per cent of the annual parliamentary salary or 15% of the issued share capital of the company. Categories 4 (Sponsorships) and 10 (Controlled transactions within the meaning of Schedule 7A PPERA not otherwise recorded in the Register) the threshold is now £1500 but was £1000 before 1 January 2010. Category 12 (Family members employed and remunerated through parliamentary allowances) applies the one per cent of salary threshold used for Categories 5, 6 and 7.

Continuing interests such as employment or property remain on the Register until the Member asks for them to be removed. "One-off" benefits such as gifts, visits and donations appear with their date of registration and remain on the Register for a year from that date and until they have appeared in one printed Register.

Entries made in the Register aim to give a clear description of the nature and scope of the interests declared. Subject to the Rules, however, each Member is responsible for the content and style of his or her own entry.

Interests are registered under the following twelve categories.

Part 1

1.  Remunerated directorships

    In this section Members are required to register any remunerated directorships which they hold in public or private companies. Members are also required to register directorships which are unremunerated if the companies are associated with, or subsidiaries of, a company in which the Member holds a remunerated directorship. The address of the company must be given. The amount of each payment received must be registered, as must the amount of time spent on the work covered by the payment.

2.  Remunerated employment, office, profession etc.

    This is the section for registering outside employment, professions and sources of remuneration not clearly covered elsewhere in the Register. The appearance of a salary band after an entry indicates that the Member is providing 'services in the capacity of a Member of Parliament'[7], for example making representations to government departments, providing advice on parliamentary or public affairs or sponsoring functions in parliamentary buildings. In such cases they must register the amount of their earnings within bands of £5,000 and, with the exception of speaking or writing engagements, must also deposit for public inspection an 'agreement for the provision of services'[8]. In all cases the Member must register the amount of each payment received together with the amount of time spent on the work covered by the payment and, except where legal or established professional privilege applies, the name and address of the employer.

3.  Clients

    In this section Members are required to disclose the names and addresses (except where legal or established professional privilege applies) of clients (other than companies or organisations already identified in sections 1 and 2, but including clients of those companies or organisations) for whom they personally provide services. The amount of each payment must be registered, together with the number of hours worked.

4.  Sponsorship or financial or material support

    In this section the Member is required to register any donation of more than £1,000 (if made before 1 January 2010) or £1500 (if made since that date) in the course of a calendar year received by the constituency association or relevant grouping of associations which is linked either to candidacy at an election or to membership of the House, and also any other form of financial or material support as a Member. A 'linked' donation is defined as one 'expressly tied to the Member by name e.g. if it is a contribution to the Member's fighting fund or a donation which has been solicited or encouraged by the Member'. The obligation to register does not apply to constituency development agreements and other arrangements in which the identity of the Member is not a factor. Since 1 July 2009, Members are required to register the name and address of the donor, the amount or value, the date of receipt and acceptance and the status of the donor.

5.  Gifts, benefits and hospitality (U.K.)

    This section is for the registration of any gift or material advantage received from a United Kingdom source, which in any way relates to membership of the House. Tangible gifts and other benefits over 1% of the parliamentary salary in value must be registered. The value must be given.

6.  Overseas visits

    This section covers overseas visits made by Members or their spouses or partners, which in any way arise out of membership of the House, where the cost of any such visit has not been wholly borne by the Member or by United Kingdom public funds. Visits costing less than 1% of the annual parliamentary salary are not registrable. Members must give the name and address of the donor, the amount of the donation or an estimate of the probable value, and the destination, date and purpose of the visit. Several categories of visit, made by Members in the normal course of their parliamentary duties, are exempted from registration. For the most part these are visits paid for from UK public funds or by a Member's own political party[9].

    Where a fee is received for an engagement abroad and travel and accommodation are also paid the item is usually entered under Category 2.

7.  Overseas benefits and gifts

    This section is subject to the same rules as section 5, but covers gifts and benefits from overseas rather than UK sources.

8.  Land and Property

    The requirement in this section is to register land or property worth, currently, more than 100% of the parliamentary salary (other than any home used for the personal residential purposes of the Member or the Member's spouse or partner) or from which in aggregate an income in excess of 10% of the parliamentary salary is derived.

9.  Registrable shareholdings

In this section Members are required to register the name of any public or private company or other body in which, to their knowledge, they have a beneficial interest in a shareholding (a) of more than 15% of the issued share capital or (b) worth more than 100% of the parliamentary salary at the preceding 5 April.

10.  Controlled transactions within the meaning of Schedule 7A PPERA, not otherwise recorded in the Register

    Loans and credit arrangements entered into in relation to a Member's political activities should be registered here. The threshold is as for Category 4.

11.  Miscellaneous and unremunerated interests

    This is a discretionary section for the registration by Members of interests which do not clearly fall within any of the above categories but which they consider to fall within the Register's purpose. In accordance with the nature of the Register as a record of pecuniary and material interests and the wishes of the Committee on Standards and Privileges, unremunerated charitable and voluntary commitments are not, of themselves, registered, though if a material benefit arises from them, that should be registered in the appropriate category.

Part 2

12.  Family members employed and remunerated through the Staffing Allowance

    Members should register here the fact that they employ a family member (by blood or by marriage or a relationship equivalent to marriage) who is remunerated through the staffing allowance, with the name of the relative, the nature of the relationship and the job title appropriate to the employment concerned. This standard job description is annexed to this part of the Register.

The transparency which is the purpose of the Register is also promoted by the obligation on Members to declare in debates or proceedings of the House and dealings with other Members, Ministers or Crown servants, all pecuniary interests or benefits of whatever nature, including indirect, past and future interests, which are relevant to the business in hand[10].

Administrative arrangements and inspection

Under the authority of the Committee on Standards and Privileges, the Register is published by The Stationery Office after the beginning of a Parliament and thereafter approximately once a year. The published Register and its regular updates are on the Internet and can be accessed as follows: Select Index; select letter R for Registers.

It is the responsibility of Members to notify changes in their registrable interests within four weeks of the change occurring. Between its annual printings the Register is updated on the web every two weeks when the House is sitting.

Free internet access to the Register is available in the Search Room, Parliamentary Archives, London SW1A OPW, by appointment only (tel. 020 7219 3074), between 9.30 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday (closed on Bank Holidays).

Copies of the Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members may be obtained from The Stationery Office as House of Commons paper no. 735 of Session 2008-09, and viewed on the Internet at: Select Index; select C for Code of Conduct.

The website also contains further information about the rules applying to Members, the procedure to be adopted in the event of complaints of failure to register, the rules covering declaration and the rule against lobbying for reward or consideration. Any queries about these matters may be addressed, preferably in writing, to the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, House of Commons, London SW1A OAA.

Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

1   HC (1995-96), HC 688 Back

2   HC (2001-02), 841 Back

3   HC (2005-06),351 Back

4   HC Deb (2007-08), 27 Mar cc 382-394 Back

5   HC (2008-09), 735 Back

6   As of 1 April 2009, 1% of the annual parliamentary salary has been taken as being £650, 10% as being £6,500 and 100% as being £65,000. Back

7   Resolution of the House 6 November 1995, amended on 14 May 2002.  Back

8   They are similarly required to provide such an agreement if they provide services in a parliamentary capacity in respect of any directorship registered in Category 1 Back

9   For a full list of these exemptions, see paragraph 47 of the Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members Back

10   Resolution of the House 22 May 1974 Back

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Prepared 24 March 2010