Code of Conduct



Appendix to the Guide:

Resolutions of the House relating to

the Conduct of Members

 

 

Registration and Declaration of Members' Interests

 

Resolutions of 22nd May 1974

Members' Interests (Declaration)

"In any debate or proceeding of the House or its Committees or transactions or communications which a Member may have with other Members or with Ministers or servants of the Crown, he shall disclose any relevant pecuniary interest or benefit of whatever nature, whether direct or indirect, that he may have had, may have or may be expecting to have."

"Every Member of the House of Commons shall furnish to a Registrar of Members' Interests such particulars of his registrable interests as shall be required, and shall notify to the Registrar any alterations which may occur therein, and the Registrar shall cause these particulars to be entered in a Register of Members' Interests which shall be available for inspection by the public."

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Resolution of 12th June 1975, amended on 19th July 1995

Members' Interests (Declaration)

"For the purposes of the Resolution of the House of 22nd May 1974 in relation to disclosure of interests in any proceeding of the House or its Committees,

any interest disclosed in a copy of the Register of Members' Interests shall be regarded as sufficient disclosure for the purpose of taking part in any division in the House or in any of its Committees.

the term 'proceeding' shall be deemed not to include the asking of a supplementary question."

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Resolution of 12th June 1975

Members' Interests (Declaration)

"Pursuant to the Resolutions of the House of 22nd May 1974, this House agrees with the recommendations made in the Report of the Select Committee on Members' Interests (Declaration) relative to the arrangements for the registration of Members' Interests, and with the recommendations contained in paragraphs 43 and 47 of that Report in relation to the declaring of such interests; and that a Register of such interests be established as soon as possible in accordance with the proposals made in that Report."

Paragraph 43 of the First Report from the Select Committee on Members' Interests (Declaration) (Session 1974-75) HC 102; reads:—

"No difficulty should arise in any proceeding of the House or its Committees in which the Member has an opportunity to speak. Such proceedings, in addition to debates in the House, includes debates in Standing Committees, the presentation of a Public Petition, and meetings of Select Committees at which evidence is heard. On all such occasions the Member will declare his interest at the beginning of his remarks in exactly the same way as he has hitherto done by convention. It will be a matter for his judgement, if his interest is already recorded in the Register, whether he simply draws attention to this or makes a rather fuller disclosure."

Paragraph 47 of the same Report provides that declarations of interest made in Select Committees shall be recorded in their Minutes of Proceedings.

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Resolution of 17th December 1985

Register of Members' Interests

"This House ... emphasises that it is the personal responsibility of each Member to have regard to his public position and the good name of Parliament in any work he undertakes or any interests he acquires; confirms that the scope of the requirement to register remunerated trades, professions or vocations includes any remunerated activity in the fields of public relations and political and parliamentary advice and consultancy; in particular ... in regard to the registration and declaring of clients that the services which require such registration and, where appropriate, declaration, include, as well as any action connected with any proceedings in the House or its Committees, the sponsoring of functions in the Palace, making representations to Ministers, Civil Servants and other Members, accompanying delegations to Ministers and the like ..."

[Note: This Resolution should be read in conjunction with the Resolutions of 6th November 1995 on lobbying (Conduct of Members) and delegations (Standards in Public Life).]

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Resolution of 6th November 1995, amended on 14th May 2002

Agreements for the Provision of Services

"(1) With effect from Wednesday 15th November 1995, any Member proposing to enter into an agreement which involves the provision of services in his capacity as a Member of Parliament shall conclude such an agreement only if it conforms to the Resolution of the House of 6th November 1995 relating to Conduct of Members; and a full copy of any such agreement including the fees or benefits payable in bands of: up to 5,000, 5,001-10,000, and thereafter in bands of 5,000, shall be deposited with the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards at the same time as it is registered in the Register of Members' Interests and made available for inspection and reproduction by the public;

(2) any Member who has an existing agreement involving the provision of services in his capacity as a Member of Parliament which conforms to the Resolution of the House of 6th November 1995 relating to Conduct of Members, but which is not in written form, shall take steps to put the agreement in written form; and no later than 31st March 1996 a full copy of any such agreement including the fees or benefits payable in bands of: up to 5,000, 5,001-10,000, and thereafter in bands of 5,000 shall be deposited with the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and registered in the Register of Members' Interests and made available for inspection and reproduction by the public; ...

Provided that the requirement to deposit a copy of an agreement with the Commissioner shall not apply —

if the fees or benefits payable do not exceed 1 per cent of the current parliamentary salary; nor

in the case of media work (but in that case the Member shall deposit a statement of the fees or benefits payable in the bands specified above)."

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Resolution of 13th July 1992

Members' Interests (Interests of Chairmen and members of Select Committees)

"This House takes note of the First Report from the Select Committee on Members' Interests, Session 1990-91 (House of Commons Paper No. 108), relating to the interests of Chairmen and members of Select Committees, and approves the recommendations of the Committee relating to declaration of interest in Select Committees (paragraphs 8 to 16), withdrawal from Committee proceedings (paragraph 24) and procedures prior to the election of a Chairman (paragraph 25)."

 

 

 

 

Lobbying for Reward or Consideration

 

Resolution of 2nd May 1695

Against offering Bribes to Members

"The Offer of any Money, or other Advantage, to any Member of Parliament, for the promoting of any Matter whatsoever, depending, or to be transacted, in Parliament, is a high Crime and Misdemeanour, and tends to the Subversion of the Constitution."

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Resolution of 22nd June 1858

Rewards to Members

"It is contrary to the usage and derogatory to the dignity of this House, that any of its Members should bring forward, promote or advocate, in this House, any proceeding or measure in which he may have acted or been concerned for or in consideration of any pecuniary fee or reward."

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Resolution of 15th July 1947, amended on 6th November 1995 and 14th May 2002

Conduct of Members

"It is inconsistent with the dignity of the House, with the duty of a Member to his constituents, and with the maintenance of the privilege of freedom of speech, for any Member of this House to enter into any contractual agreement with an outside body, controlling or limiting the Member's complete independence and freedom of action in Parliament or stipulating that he shall act in any way as the representative of such outside body in regard to any matters to be transacted in Parliament; the duty of a Member being to his constituents and to the country as a whole, rather than to any particular section thereof and that in particular no Member of the House shall, in consideration of any remuneration, fee, payment, reward or benefit in kind, direct or indirect, which the Member or any member of his or her family has received, is receiving, or expects to receive—

advocate or initiate any cause or matter on behalf or any outside body or individual, or

urge any other Member of either House of Parliament, including Ministers, to do so,

by means of any speech, Question, Motion, introduction of a Bill or amendment to a Motion or Bill, or any approach, whether oral or in writing, to Ministers or servants of the Crown."

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Resolution of 6th November 1995

Standards in Public Life

"This House agrees with the recommendations in the Second Report from the Select Committee on Standards in Public Life (House of Commons Paper No. 816) relating to the cessation of paid advocacy (paragraph 54);[28] and further that a Member with a paid interest should not initiate or participate in, including attendance, a delegation where the problem affects only the body from which he has a paid interest."

 

 

 

 

Conduct

 

Resolution of 19th July 1995

Code of Conduct

"This House endorses the principle of a Code of Conduct, and instructs the appropriate Select Committee to prepare such a draft Code for approval as soon as possible, taking into account the suggestions of the Nolan Committee and any relevant overseas analogues; and whilst restating its commitment to the objectives of the Resolution of the House of 15th July 1947 relating to privileges, accepts the need to review its wording in the context of the work to be undertaken on the draft Code."

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Resolution of 24th July 1996

Code of Conduct

"This House approves the Third Report from the Committee on Standards and Privileges, House of Commons Paper No. 604, and in particular—

approves the Code of Conduct prepared pursuant to the Resolution of the House of 19th July 1995,

approves the Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members, the modifications to the rules of the House contained therein, and the guidelines to the application of the Resolution of the House of 6th November 1995, (Conduct of Members) contained in paragraph 58[29] of the Guide, and

authorises the Committee on Standards and Privileges to make such minor amendments to the Guide to the Rules as appear to it to be justified by experience or necessarily reflect decisions of the House; and to report such amended versions of the Guide to the House."

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Resolution of 14th May 2002

Code of Conduct

"(1) This House approves the Ninth Report from the Committee on Standards and Privileges (House of Commons Paper No. 763), A new Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules; ...

(4) the Code of Conduct and the Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members (House of Commons Paper No. 688 (1995-96)) shall be amended as proposed in Annex 2 to the Report; and

(5)  the registration forms submitted for the next published Register of Members' Interests shall comply with the new rules on the registration of Members' interests; and any requirement under the new rules to register an interest which is not registrable now shall come into force on the publication of the next Register."

 


28   "Activity constituting paid advocacy would be outside our proposed rules and should therefore cease from the start of the new Parliamentary session (1995-96)." Back

29   The amended guidelines are set out in paragraph 76 of this Guide. Back

 
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Prepared 21 May 2002