Brexiteer former MP Owen Paterson takes government to court over lobbying scandal

22 November 2022, 16:09 | Updated: 22 November 2022, 16:21

Former Tory MP Owen Paterson is taking the government to court
Former Tory MP Owen Paterson is taking the government to court. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Former Tory MP Owen Paterson is taking legal action against the government at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), claiming the process that found against him in a lobbying scandal breached his right to privacy.

Mr Paterson is a long-time campaigner against the ECHR, having given speeches calling for the UK to ‘break free’ from it.

As far back as 2014 he said: “Much of the problematical immigration into this country stems not just from the EU but from the European Court of Human Rights.”

He called for the “adoption of a new Bill of Rights and said the UK should be “breaking free from the ECHR”.

He resigned last year as MP for North Shropshire after Boris Johnson made clear he would no longer block efforts to prevent him from being punished by parliament for lobbying.

“I will remain a public servant but outside the cruel world of politics,” he said at the time.

He was found to have repeatedly lobbied the government on behalf of two companies that were paying him more than £100,000 a year and faced a 30-day suspension and a potential by-election before he stepped down.

He has maintained his treatment was unfair and his allies attempted to change Parliamentary rules to have his punishment rescinded.

Mr Paterson's submission to the court says his right to privacy under the European Convention of Human Rights was infringed and that the public finding that he breached the Code of Conduct ‘damaged his good reputation’.

In the court’s summary of the case Mr Paterson “complains that his article 8 rights [to privacy] were infringed [by the inquiry process that led to his resignation], as the public finding that he had breached the code of conduct damaged his good reputation, and that the process by which the allegations against him were investigated and considered was not fair in many basic respects”.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone last year found the then-Conservative MP for North Shropshire breached the Commons code of conduct by lobbying ministers.

The Commons Standards Committee said his actions were an "egregious" breach of the rules on paid advocacy by MPs and recommended that he should be suspended for 30 sitting days.

In early November 2021, then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried to change the rules to prevent Mr Paterson's suspension, before being forced to U-turn just 24 hours later in the face of public anger.

The sleaze scandal surrounding the case was one in a series of controversies which engulfed Mr Johnson's Government and ultimately led to his downfall.

Mr Paterson, an arch Brexiteer, argued in his 2014 speech that the UK should not just quit the EU but to replace the European Convention on Human Rights, on which the European Court of Human Rights adjudicates.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Cleverly and Cooper face off on immigration.

General Election LIVE: Cleverly and Cooper to face off on immigration, Met says its not source of election bet leaks

Rishi Sunak Holds Campaign Event In London

Metropolitan Police denies 'leaking names' of Conservatives suspected of betting on election date

Assange was released from Belmarsh Prison in London on Monday

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange leaves UK after being freed in US plea deal

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has reached a plea deal.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not be extradited to US after reaching plea deal

Princess Anne is reportedly unable to remember what happened due to the nature of the injury.

Princess Anne ‘unable to recall exactly what happened’ after being ‘hit by horse’ as she faces several days in hospital

England have qualified for the last 16 at Euro 2024.

England qualify for last 16 at Euro 2024 after Spain beat Albania

Rishi Sunak criticised Labour's proposed plans to tackle migration rates in the UK.

UK would be ‘illegal migration capital of world’ under Labour, Sunak says as he sets out plans to ‘stop the boats’

Labour has made cutting knife crime a 'moral mission' should the party come to power

Labour makes cutting knife crime a 'moral mission' as Starmer proposes new child criminal exploitation offence

Spanish police are investigating if Jay's 'background' is relevant to the disappearance.

Spanish police searching for Jay Slater investigate if teenager’s background is ‘relevant’ to his disappearance

Lord Kinnock has said he would not wish being part of the current Tory government on his 'most bloodthirsty enemies'.

‘I wish I was fighting this lot’, ex-Labour leader Lord Kinnock says as he brands current Tory party 'superficial'

The president of Finland has said he 'doesn't agree with many things' Nigel Farage says in response to his comments on the war in Ukraine.

'Absolutely not': Finland's president dismisses Nigel Farage’s claim that Nato provoked Russia's war in Ukraine

A man went missing in the water off Bournemouth beach (file image)

Huge search operation launched for man missing in water off Bournemouth beach

Bosses face £1,000 fine for letting employees watch England's Euros clash with Denmark in the office

Offices showing England v Slovenia Euros clash could face hefty £1,000 fine

Princess Anne has been injured by a horse

King Charles sends 'fondest love’ to Princess Anne who will ‘quickly bounce back’ after being hit by horse

Callum the stag was "humanely euthanised".

Tourists blamed for death of 'legendary' stag after it was fed Rice Krispies and croissants

The Reform UK leader's comments came as he spoke to supporters at a rally in Kent on Tuesday, slamming the current government's ability to control immigration.

Farage warns of Channel migrant 'invasion' from countries 'with terrorism, gang culture and war zones'