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Ex-Cabinet minister faces 30-day Commons ban for breach of lobbying rules

Ex-Cabinet minister faces 30-day Commons ban for breach of lobbying rules

Owen Paterson has been the MP for North Shropshire since 1997

Former Cabinet minister Owen Paterson is facing the prospect of a 30-day suspension from Parliament after he was found to have breached Commons rules on lobbying.

An investigation by Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone found he repeatedly lobbied ministers and officials on behalf of two companies for which he was acting as a paid consultant – Randox, and Lynn’s Country Foods.

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.

But, in an angry statement, Mr Paterson rejected the commissioner’s findings, accusing her of making up her mind before she had even spoken to him.

“This is a biased process and not fair,” he said.

“It offends against the basic standard of procedural fairness that no-one should be found guilty until they have had a chance to be heard and to present their evidence including their witnesses.”

Content provided by Radio NewsHub. Originally published on 2021-10-26 14:50:00.

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