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Declarations of Interest

Volume 624: debated on Monday 27 March 2017

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Following a report made on 14 February by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, I would like to apologise to the House for the failure to disclose a financial interest in a Westminster Hall debate on High Speed 2 on 25 March 2015. I should have declared that, owing to a court order caused by my divorce, I was in the final act of selling my house to HS2 under the extreme hardship scheme. I point out to the House that I did declare an interest in the previous HS2 debates on 28 January 2013, 26 June 2013 and 28 April 2014.

In addition, I should, on reflection, have declared an interest when I submitted a written question to the Transport Secretary on 9 October 2013 and when I spoke in the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill debate on 31 October 2013. I also attended meetings with HS2 and responded to the consultation, when, with hindsight, for purposes of clarity, I should have declared an interest.

I have sought to co-operate with the Commissioner for Standards throughout this inquiry. I have never made any secret of how close HS2 was running to my then property in North West Leicestershire. That in no way clouded my view of the HS2 project, which I opposed before the route was announced, during my interest and afterwards. I thank you for the opportunity to put this all on the record, and I apologise to the House profusely for any omissions I may have made.