• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Jacob Rees-Mogg investigated by Parliament's sleaze watchdog after he failed to declare £6 million in loans

·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Jacob Rees-Mogg
Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.Reuters / Simon Dawson
  • The MPs' sleaze watchdog is probing Rees-Mogg's registration of outside employment and earnings.

  • It comes after he failed to register £6 million in personal loans from a Cayman Islands-linked company.

  • Earlier this month he led a failed attempt to reform the House of Commons' standards for conflicts of interest.

Jacob Rees-Mogg is under investigation by Parliament's sleaze watchdog over an allegation that he failed to register his outside employment and earnings.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards listed Rees-Mogg, the leader of the House of Commons, as the subject of an investigation in a filing dated Monday.

£6 million in loans

It came less than a week after the Mail on Sunday reported that Rees-Mogg failed to register with the Commons £6 million in personal loans from a Cayman Islands-linked company, making him the first cabinet minister to become embroiled in a subsequent examination of MPs' second jobs and outside earnings.

Rees-Mogg told the newspaper the loans were for the refurbishment of his house.

According to the Mail on Sunday, Rees-Mogg borrowed up to £2.94 million a year in "director's loans" from Saliston Ltd, a UK-based company, from 2018 to 2020.

Previous entries by Rees-Mogg in the register of members' interests makes no mention of any loans from that company, only that he is a shareholder and unremunerated director.

The firm's entry on Companies House shows he resigned as a director on July 25, 2019, the day after he became a minister.

Rees-Mogg told the Mail on Sunday: "Saliston is 100 per cent owned by me. This is declared clearly in the Commons register and to the Cabinet Office. It has no activities that interact with Government policy."

"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 MPs' code of conduct requires directors to declare "taxable expenses, allowances and benefits," the Mail on Sunday said.

This is under category 1 of the rules, for which Rees-Mogg is now being investigated.

Rees-Mogg tried to reform MPs' standards for conflicts of interest

Last month, Rees-Mogg led the government's attempts to change the rules of the House of Commons after fellow Conservative MP Owen Paterson faced suspension from Parliament because the Standards Committee found he had made an "egregious" breach of the rules on paid lobbying.

Proposals supported by the government would have reviewed Paterson's case and established a separate committee to examine how the rules could be changed to allow for further appeals against decisions by the Standards Committee.

This could have included a change to how the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards operates.

Paterson resigned after opposition parties refused to participate in the cross-party committee, and a full government U-turn saw the proposals dropped.

'Yet another egregious breach of the rules'

The opposition Labour Party has welcomed the investigation into Rees-Mogg.

Thangam Debbonaire MP, shadow leader of the House, told Insider: "Over the last few weeks, we have seen that Conservative MPs repeatedly act as if they can put their own private business interests ahead of their constituents and the Prime Minister must put a stop to this.

"It is right that the Standards Commissioner is investigating what appears to be yet another egregious breach of the rules, with Jacob Rees-Mogg failing to declare millions of pounds of directors' loans. The Prime Minister also needs to investigate whether the Ministerial Code has been breached."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting