The Code of Conduct for
Members of Parliament|
to the Resolution of the House of 19 July 1995
I. Purpose of the Code
1. The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to
assist all Members in the discharge of their obligations to the
House, their constituents and the public at large by:
(a) establishing the standards and principles
of conduct expected of all Members in undertaking their duties;
(b) setting the rules of conduct which underpin
these standards and principles and to which all Members must adhere;
and in so doing
(c) ensuring public confidence in the standards
expected of all Members and in the commitment of the House to
upholding these rules.
II. Scope of the Code
2. The Code applies to a Member's conduct which
relates in any way to their membership of the House. The Code
does not seek to regulate the conduct of Members in their purely
private and personal lives or in the conduct of their wider public
lives unless such conduct significantly damages the reputation
and integrity of the House of Commons as a whole or of its Members
3. The obligations set out in this Code are complementary
to those which apply to all Members by virtue of the procedural
and other rules of the House and the rulings of the Chair, and
to those which apply to Members falling within the scope of the
III. Duties of Members
4. By virtue of the oath, or affirmation, of
allegiance taken by all Members when they are elected to the House,
Members have a duty to be faithful and bear true allegiance to
Her Majesty the Queen, her heirs and successors, according to
5. Members have a duty to uphold the law, including
the general law against discrimination.
6. Members have a general duty to act in the
interests of the nation as a whole; and a special duty to their
7. Members should act on all occasions in accordance
with the public trust placed in them. They should always behave
with probity and integrity, including in their use of public resources.
IV. General Principles of
8. In carrying out their parliamentary and public
duties, Members will be expected to observe the following general
principles of conduct identified by the Committee on Standards
in Public Life in its First Report as applying to holders of public
office. These principles
will be taken into account when considering the investigation
and determination of any allegations of breaches of the rules
of conduct in Part V of the Code.
Holders of public office should take decisions solely
in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order
to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their
family, or their friends.
Holders of public office should not place themselves
under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals
or organisations that might influence them in the performance
of their official duties.
In carrying out public business, including making
public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals
for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make
choices on merit.
Holders of public office are accountable for their
decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves
to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
Holders of public office should be as open as possible
about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should
give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only
when the wider public interest clearly demands.
Holders of public office have a duty to declare any
private interests relating to their public duties and to take
steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects
the public interest.
Holders of public office should promote and support
these principles by leadership and example."
V. Rules of Conduct
9. Members are expected to observe the following
rules and associated Resolutions of the House.
10. Members shall base their conduct on a consideration
of the public interest, avoid conflict between personal interest
and the public interest and resolve any conflict between the two,
at once, and in favour of the public interest.
11. No Member shall act as a paid advocate in
any proceeding of the House.
12. The acceptance by a Member of a bribe to
influence his or her conduct as a Member, including any fee, compensation
or reward in connection with the promotion of, or opposition to,
any Bill, Motion, or other matter submitted, or intended to be
submitted to the House, or to any Committee of the House, is contrary
to the law of Parliament.
13. 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.
14. Information which Members receive in confidence
in the course of their parliamentary duties should be used only
in connection with those duties. Such information must never be
used for the purpose of financial gain.
15. Members are personally responsible and accountable
for ensuring that their use of any expenses, allowances, facilities
and services provided from the public purse is in accordance with
the rules laid down on these matters. Members shall ensure that
their use of public resources is always in support of their parliamentary
duties. It should not confer any undue personal or financial benefit
on themselves or anyone else, or confer undue advantage on a political
16. Members shall never undertake any action
which would cause significant damage to the reputation and integrity
of the House of Commons as a whole, or of its Members generally.
17. The Commissioner may not investigate a specific
matter under paragraph 16 which relates only to the conduct of
a Member in their private and personal lives.
VI. Upholding the Code
18. The application of this Code shall be a matter
for the House of Commons, and particularly for the Committee on
Standards and Privileges and the Parliamentary Commissioner for
Standards acting in accordance with Standing Orders Nos 149 and
19. The Commissioner may investigate a specific
matter relating to a Member's adherence to the rules of conduct
under the Code. Members shall cooperate, at all stages, with any
such investigation by or under the authority of the House. No
Member shall lobby a member of the Committee in a manner calculated
or intended to influence its consideration of an alleged breach
of this Code.
20. The Committee will consider any report from
the Commissioner to it and report its conclusions and recommendations
to the House. The House may impose a sanction on the Member where
it considers it necessary.
1 Cm 2850-I, p 14 Back
Resolutions of 6 November 1995 and 15 July 1947 as amended on
6 November 1995 and 14 May 2002 Back
Resolutions of 2 May 1695, 22 June 1858, and 15 July 1947 as amended
on 6 November 1995 and 14 May 2002 Back
Resolutions of the House of 22 May 1974 as amended on 9 February
2009; 12 June 1975 as amended on 19 July 1995 and 9 February 2009;
12 June 1975 as amended on 9 February 2009; 17 December 1985 as
amended on 9 February 2009; 6 November 1995 as amended on 14 May
2002 and 9 February 2009; 13 July 1992; 30 April 2009 as amended
on 7 February 2011 and 27 March 2008, as amended on 9 February