Tory MP issues an apology to the House of Commons over breach of rules

Tory MP Marcus Fysh (right) with Boris Johnson (left). Photograph: Marcus Fysh.

Tory MP Marcus Fysh (right) with Boris Johnson (left). Photograph: Marcus Fysh. - Credit: Archant

A Conservative MP has apologised in the House of Commons after failing to register his business directorships as interests.

Marcus Fysh, Tory MP for Yeovil, was found by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Stone, to have made three breaches of the Code of Conduct.

The Commons Standards Committee later intervened after Fysh did not accept the commissioner's findings.

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Fysh was also found by MPs to have 'adopted a deprecatory and, at points, patronising tone towards the commissioner and the registrar, which was unacceptable, as were his unfounded questions about their objectivity'.

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Making a personal statement to the Commons, Fysh said: 'Following a report issued last Thursday by the Committee on Standards, I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise to the House for not registering and not declaring unremunerated directorships of companies in my wholly owned investment group Samfire Proprietary Ltd, namely of that company of Alibante Developments Ltd, of Makoonor Holdings Ltd and West Sea Investments Ltd, and also for my late updating of the register for company name changes in 2018.

'The financial interests in ownership were registered and declared.

'There isn't a conflict of interest and my judgment was that as in my view unremunerated directorships do not have a bearing on my work as a member of this House, and could not in my view be reasonably be thought to, it was not required I should declare them.

'The relevant rule says non-financial interests should be registered and declared if the member considers they might reasonably be thought by others to influence them in their activities as a member.

'The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards took a different view, the committee supported her and I accept their findings.

'I apologise to the House for this situation.'

He said it came from a 'misunderstanding of what is required', adding he will update his register of interests.

Fysh went on: 'The committee's report also asked me to apologise to the commissioner and the registrar of members financial interests, and I will write and agree the text of that apology in advance with the chair of the committee.'

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