Tory MP Marcus Fysh ordered to apologise after ‘patronising’ conduct

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Conservative MP Marcus Fysh has been ordered to apologise after being found to have breached the MPs Code of Conduct.

Parliament’s standards watchdog found that he failed to register a number of unpaid directorships.

He was also criticised for his “deprecatory” and “patronising” tone towards the Standards Commissioner during inquiries in to the breach.

He has been told to apologise in a personal Commons statement.

The Standards Committee criticised the MP for Yeovil for “unacceptable” behaviour following a complaint that Mr Fysh’s registration of financial interests were inaccurate, in a report.

Unpaid directorships

MPs have to adhere to a code of conduct in office. The rules are governed by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, and overseen by a committee of cross-party MPs and lay members.

Mr Fysh’s case was referred to the committee after he rejected the Commissioner’s findings that he should have registered the unpaid directorships.

His objection meant the Commissioner was unable to resolve the complaint.

The Commissioner had also considered whether he should have declared these interests to the select committees that he is a member of.

The committee found that while Mr Fysh had accepted that he should have registered changes to companies that he held shares in, he believed that he did not need to declare unpaid directorship of four companies.

The MP said the directorships were “not capable of having any influence” on what he may say or do as an MP, and “could not reasonably be perceived to be at risk of doing so,” the standards committee said.

‘Deprecatory tone’

My Fysh had argued that the Commissioner had not provided any evidence that he had been influenced by his business interests.

The committee accepted that Mr Fysh had apologised for the late registration of the changes to the companies, but it rejected his argument against the Commissioner.

It said that, while it did not believe he had acted in bad faith, Mr Fysh had “adopted a deprecatory and, at points, patronising tone towards the Commissioner and the Registrar which was unacceptable.”

The committee recommended that Mr Fysh should apologise on all aspects of the breach, by making a personal statement in the House of Commons.

It also recommended that he should apologise in writing to the Commissioner, and that his entry in the MPs Register of Interest should be corrected, with details of the four unpaid directorships to be highlighted in bold type for the next 12 months.

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