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Personal Statement

Volume 683: debated on Tuesday 3 November 2020

With your permission, Madam Deputy Speaker, I would like to make an apology to the House.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and the Committee on Standards have found that I have breached paragraphs 15 and 16 of the Members’ code of conduct in the inappropriate use of House stationery and that I committed a breach of the code in using contact details for non-parliamentary purposes. I will accept that this is the third time that I have been found to have breached the rules, despite having previously reassured the Commissioner that I now understood the rules in relation to stationery. Of course, I fully accept their ruling, and I volunteered to pay back the cost of the stationery and have already done so. I apologise to the House and to you for my breach of the rules. The Committee further requested that I meet the Chair and other members to agree steps on how to ensure that there was no lapse from the highest possible standards required and that this should be periodically reviewed. I really look forward to working with the Chair and other members to this end. Finally, I thank the members of the Standards Committee and the Commissioner for Standards for all their work. [Interruption.]

I thank the hon. Lady for her personal statement. Senior Members of this House ought to know better than to make more noise than is necessary at a time when someone is making a personal statement, which they have the right to do in silence. Just because we are socially distancing and people cannot whisper, they will have to learn to make what would have been whispered comments rather more quietly.

Virtual participation in proceedings concluded (Order, 4 June).