The commissioner determined that the violations were “minor and/or inadvertent.” By failing to timely register eight interests, including presents from football clubs and the sale of a parcel of land, Sir Keir Starmer was judged to have violated the MPs’ code of conduct.
The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, Kathryn Stone, launched an investigation against the Labour leader in June in response to allegations of late disclosure of earnings and gifts, favours, or hospitality from UK sources.
Sir Keir said that he was “absolutely confident” he had not violated the MPs’ code of conduct at the time.
The head of the opposition was deemed to have neglected to register eight interests, which is five more than was claimed in the first complaint, according to the commissioner.
She did point out that there was no intentional effort to deceive and that the breaches were “minor and/or inadvertent.”
The watchdog determined that the investigation could be resolved via the “rectification” process rather than being sent to the Committee on Standards, as is the case in more severe situations.
The correction process comprises posting an apology and the relevant information on the Commons website.
A spokeswoman for the Labour Party said: “Keir Starmer takes his responsibilities to the Register very seriously and has apologised to the Commissioner for this inadvertent error.”
“He has assured the Commissioner that his office processes have been reviewed to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
It was claimed in the first complaint filed to the commissioner that between March 6, 2022, and May 13, 2022, Sir Keir had failed to record money and hospitality that he had taken on three separate occasions within the 28-day window allowed by the House.
After reviewing Sir Keir’s register entries from the previous 12 months, the watchdog discovered four further instances of late registrations.
Sir Keir also disclosed to Ms Stone throughout the inquiry that he was about to sell a piece of land for more money than the £100,000 registration barrier imposed by the House.
The commissioner stated in her report that “Sir Keir said he had been communicating with the Registrar of Members’ Financial Interests on this matter, and, having had the land valued in January 2022, and put the land on the market in March 2022, he was waiting for the sale to complete so that he could register the correct value.”
“I decided to include this matter as part of my inquiry.”
Ms Stone concluded that Sir Keir had violated paragraph 14 of the House of Commons Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament by failing to register the eight interests listed above, including the property plot.
She said, “I found that, based on the information available to me, the breaches were minor and/or inadvertent, and that there was no deliberate attempt to mislead.”
“I decided therefore, the inquiry could be concluded by way of the rectification 35 procedure available to me under Standing Order No. 150.”
In a letter to the commissioner dated June 21, Sir Keir reaffirmed the late statements were “a result of an administrative error within my office.” He also apologised and said, “I take full responsibility for my register, and I apologise.”
He said, “My office and I have carried out a review of the process to ensure that this does not happen again”