HC 1225, Eleventh Report of Session 2013-14
- House of Commons - Committee on Standards
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The report 'Patrick Mercer (HC 1225)' examines the behaviour of Patrick Mercer, the MP for Newark, who was approached by a journalist purporting to be a public affairs consultant representing a group called 'Friends of Fiji', and wished to campaign for the readmission of Fiji into the Commonwealth, by hiring people to use influence on its behalf.
Between the initial approach from the 'consultant' on 6 March and the last meeting between them on 25 April, Mr Mercer tabled five Parliamentary questions and an Early Day Motion (EDM), and actively sought to set up an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Fiji. On 31 May 2013 articles appeared in the Daily Telegraph about the case, and a Panorama programme was broadcast on 6 June 2013. As a result, Mr Mercer referred himself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.
The Commissioner found that Mr Mercer had:
failed to register monies received for the provision of consultancy services;
failed to deposit an agreement for the provision of services;
failed to declare a relevant interest when:
tabling five parliamentary questions
when tabling an early-day motion
when making approaches to other Members, and most probably, at a meeting of a prospective All-Party Parliamentary Group; and
tabled parliamentary questions and an early-day motion, and taken steps to establish an All-Party Parliamentary Group at the request of paying clients.
The Committee recommend that Mr Mercer be suspended from the House for a period of six calendar months.
Mr Mercer resigned on 29 April 2014, before the publication of this report.
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