Tory sleaze allegations: Labour calls for investigation into Rees-Mogg's £6 million loan

21 November 2021, 14:17 | Updated: 21 November 2021, 14:24

Angela Rayner tweeted that there must be an investigation into the £6 million loans.
Angela Rayner tweeted that there must be an investigation into the £6 million loans. Picture: Alamy

By Elizabeth Haigh

Labour has demanded an investigation into allegations that Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg did not declare a £6million loan correctly.

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Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner wrote to the independent adviser on ministers' interests, Lord Geidt, today about a series of loans to Mr Rees-Mogg's company Saliston Limited between 2018 and 2020.

She wrote Mr Rees-Mogg failed to declare director's loans worth £2.94 million a year, and this allowed him "to borrow a large sum of money at a very low interest rate".

She tweeted calling for an investigation, claiming the loans enabled Mr Rees-Mogg to benefit from an interest rate that her constituents could not.

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She added: "The financial benefit to Mr Rees-Mogg in this transaction is the difference in the interest he paid on this loan compared to a loan that he could take out on the open market from another provider, for example a bank.

"In this transaction, this difference is the value of the financial benefit transferred to Mr Rees-Mogg, which is a financial interest that should have been declared."

Ms Rayner referred to the ministerial code, which states: "ministers must ensure that no conflict arises, or could reasonably be perceived to arise, between their public duties and their private interests, financial or otherwise".

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Mr Rees-Mogg used the loans to buy and refurbish a house in Central London, according to Ms Rayner.

The Commons Leader has defended using the loans for this purpose, saying his company has no interaction with government actions.

He told the Mail on Sunday: "The loans from 2018 were primarily taken out for the purchase and refurbishment of [my home] as temporary cash flow measures.

"All loans have either been repaid with interest in accordance with HMRC rules or paid as dividends and taxed accordingly."

The allegations come in the wake of the Owen Paterson scandal, when MPs voted to block his suspension from Parliament.

The Government later performed a u-turn, leading to Paterson's resignation.