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Committee on Standards publishes report on the conduct of Jess Phillips MP

8 June 2023

This report arises from an investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards following a complaint from a member of the public, that Jess Phillips MP had failed to register income from a television appearance on the Register of Members' Financial Interests - and therefore breached paragraph 14 of the 2019 Code of Conduct for Members. The Commissioner also investigated whether Ms Phillips had registered another interest within the timescales required under the rules.

Full details of the Commissioner’s inquiry and his opinion are set out in his memorandum, which is published as an Appendix to the Committee’s report. Written evidence relating to the Commissioner’s inquiry is published on the Committee’s webpages.

The Commissioner’s opinion

In the course of his investigation, the Commissioner reviewed Ms Phillips' current entries on the Register and it appeared that a payment received from the University of Bristol and registered by Ms Phillips on 4 November 2022 was registered two days after the 28-day deadline set by the House.

The Commissioner’s investigation accordingly sought to establish whether Ms Phillips: (a) failed to register an interest under Category 1: Employment and earnings; and (b) registered a further interest outside of the 28-day deadline set by the House; in each case breaching paragraph 14 of the Rules as set out in the 2019 Code of Conduct for Members ("the Code").

Ms Phillips informed the Commissioner that she did not receive remuneration for the television programme broadcast on 17 January 2020. Accordingly, the Commissioner did not uphold the complaint that Ms Phillips had failed to register a payment for her television appearance.

Ms Phillips had sought to register her payment from Bristol University within the 28-day deadline, but omitted the value of the interest in her initial email to the registration team. By the time Ms Phillips had corrected the error and submitted a complete entry, the 28-day deadline had passed. The Commissioner gave his opinion that Ms Phillips therefore breached paragraph 14 of the 2019 Code of Conduct.

The Commissioner stated in his memorandum that “although this is a relatively minor breach, I am referring it to the Committee on Standards because it occurred less than six months after rectification by Ms Phillips of a number of late registrations of financial interests. A casual attitude to the Register is unacceptable, and accordingly I consider it right to refer this breach to the Committee.”

The Committee’s decision and recommendation

The Committee states that the case “underlines the need for Members to submit their complete registrations in good time”.

The Committee recommends that no further action be taken.

Further information

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