House of Commons

The Register of Members' Financial Interests: Part 1
As at 13th January 2012

REGISTER OF MEMBERS' FINANCIAL INTERESTS

INTRODUCTION TO THE JANUARY 2012 EDITION

This edition of the Register of Members' Financial Interests is the second to be published for the Parliament elected in May 2010, and is up to date as at 13 January 2012.

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 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 2007 [4] and June 2009. [5]

The main purpose of the Register of Members’ Financial Interests is "to provide information of any financial interest or other material benefit which a Member receives which might reasonably be thought by others to influence his or her actions, speeches or votes in Parliament, or actions taken in his or her capacity as a Member of Parliament."[6] Apart from the specific rules, there is a more general obligation upon Members to keep the overall definition of the Register’s purpose in mind when registering their interests.

The registration form specifies twelve categories of registrable interests which are set out below, together with the financial thresholds which apply:

Category

Descriptor

Financial threshold for registration

1

Directorships

Over 0.1% of annual parliamentary salary (currently £66) for individual payments [1]

Over 1% of annual parliamentary salary (currently £660) for total payments of whatever size from the same source in the course of a calendar year [2]7

2

Remunerated office, profession, employment etc

As for Category 1

3

Clients

As for Category 1

4

Sponsorships

Over £1,500, either as individual payments, or as total of multiple donations of more than £500 from the same source in the course of a calendar year

5

Gifts, benefits and hospitality (UK)

Over 1% of annual parliamentary salary (currently £660) for benefits of whatever size from the same source in the course of a calendar year

6

Overseas visits

Over 1% of annual parliamentary salary (currently £660) if not wholly borne by Member or public funds.

Threshold applies to benefits of whatever size from the same source in the course of a calendar year

7

Overseas benefits and gifts

As for Category 5.

NB: donations of more than £500 from an overseas source in connection with political activities, other than under Category 6, are impermissible.

8

Land and property [not used for personal residential purposes]

Value of property: over annual parliamentary salary (currently £66,000).

Income derived from property: over 10% of annual parliamentary salary (currently £6,600).

9

Shareholdings

Greater than 15% of issued share capital (on preceding 5 April), or

If 15% or less of issued share capital (on preceding 5 April), greater in value than annual parliamentary salary (currently £66,000)

10

Controlled transactions within the meaning of Schedule 7A PPERA

(loans, credit facilities and securities)

Over £1,500 for total of donations and loans of more than £500 from the same source in the course of a calendar year

11

Miscellaneous

No threshold

12

Family members employed and remunerated through parliamentary expenses

Over 1% of annual parliamentary salary (currently £660) in calendar year [1]

The thresholds set out in the table above under Categories 1 (Directorships), 2 (Remunerated employment, office, profession etc) and 3 (Clients) reflect a change which was made to the registration rules during the period covered by this Register. Since 1 July 2009 Members who registered earnings in these categories had been required to register the full details of each payment received and the time worked, whatever the size of that payment. [7] On 7 February 2011 the House agreed to reintroduce a financial threshold for these categories. The relevant threshold for individual payments in these categories is now 0.1% of the annual parliamentary salary (currently £66) and for the cumulative total of payments from the same source in the year, 1% of the annual parliamentary salary, (currently £660).

The Register is published under the authority of the Committee on Standards and Privileges in printed form soon after the beginning of a new Parliament, and approximately annually thereafter. Between its annual printings the Register is updated on the web every two weeks when the House is sitting. It is the responsibility of Members to notify changes in their registrable interests within four weeks of the change occurring.

The Register is available on the Internet and can be accessed via the following link: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem.htm . 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 parliamentary webpages via the following link: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmcode/735/73505.htm#a21 .

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 and the last two weeks in November).

The webpages of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards also contain further information about the procedure to be adopted in the event of complaints of failure to register an interest, the rules covering declaration of interests and the rules on lobbying for reward or consideration. Any questions about these matters may be addressed to the office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards at the House of Commons, London SW1A OAA or via [email protected].

JOHN LYON CB
Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

13 January 2012

Rectification procedure

Entries are printed in bold italics, with an appropriate explanatory note, when they have been made following an inquiry by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. Bold italics indicate either that the entry has been made at the request of the Committee on Standards and Privileges, following an inquiry and report by the Commissioner, or that the Commissioner has resolved the matter by means of the rectification procedure available to him under Standing Order No 150.

1 HC (1995-96), HC 688 

2 HC (2001-02), 841 

3 HC (2005-06),351 

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

5 HC (2008-09), 735 

6 Select Committee on Members’ Interests, First Report, Session 1991–92, “Registration and Declaration of Financial Interests”, HC 236, paragraph 27. 

1 Threshold effective from 7 February 2011 

2  

1 The job titles given are those set out in guidance issued by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority: see http://www.parliamentarystandards.org.uk/IPSAMPs/Pages/HR,-Payroll,-Interns.aspx .  

7 The House agreed these changes on 30 April 2009: see HC Deb, 30 April 2009, Col 1130-1132  

Prepared 26th January 2012