Sleaze scandal: MPs to vote on motion to scrap standards reforms

15 November 2021, 10:22

MPs will vote on the motion on Monday evening. (stock photo)
MPs will vote on the motion on Monday evening. (stock photo). Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

MPs will later vote on scrapping the standards reforms that sparked the sleaze scandal in Westminster.

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It comes after a vote took place on November 3 to go against the parliamentary watchdog and delay Owen Paterson's suspension, following an ongoing lobbying row.

A motion to reverse the so-called Leadsom amendment - intended to establish a review of the MPs standards investigation process and delay Mr Paterson's suspension for breaking lobbying rules - has been tabled by Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg for Monday evening.

The order paper states that the motion "rescinds ... the appointment of a new select committee", which had been due to be chaired by former culture secretary John Whittingdale.

It will also "note that Mr Owen Paterson is no longer a Member of this House".

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The attempt to reform the system, and subsequent u-turn from the Government less than 24 hours later, intensified the spotlight on MPs' second jobs and their expenses claims.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to apologise for the sleaze issues raised, including that of MP Geoffrey Cox's second job, but said it "could have been handled better".

Mr Johnson also showed support for the Commons standards commissioner, Kathryn Stone, calling for her to be "allowed" to do her job.

It comes despite Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the commissioner should "consider her position" after the way she handled the investigation into Mr Paterson.

Meanwhile, Labour has demanded several investigations following claims made, including one in The Sunday Times that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps had used a lobbying body to protect airfields from development.

However, chairman of the Conservative party Oliver Dowden told LBC's Nick Ferrari that he believed the "Government is not sleaze-ridden, the Government is actually focused on getting on with the job."