Welsh Labour MP blasts Conservatives over ‘conflicts of interest’
A Welsh Labour MP has blasted the UK Government over what he called their lack of understanding of the concept of conflicts of interest.
Rhonda MP Chris Bryant who is Chair of the Parliamentary Standards Committee posted a video message to his social media followers in which he said that Chancellor Rishini Sunak should not have been holding an American Green Card while he was negotiating with the USA without parliament knowing.
He also asked why Rishi Sunak was in charge of policy on non-domiciled residents while his wife was a ‘non-dom’, without declaring that.
The Chancellor has written to the Prime Minister to ask for an investigation into his financial affairs to determine whether all his interests were “properly declared”.
Rishi Sunak said on Twitter that he had “always followed the rules” and that he hoped the review would “provide further clarity”.
In the letter, the Chancellor asked Boris Johnson to refer him to the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests, Lord Geidt, “given the recent speculation around my declarations”.
Today I have written to the Prime Minister asking him to refer my ministerial declarations to the Independent Advisor on Ministers’ Interests.
I have always followed the rules and I hope such a review will provide further clarity. pic.twitter.com/JjVRDFJELl
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) April 10, 2022
But Chris Bryant said that it was clear that “the Tories just don’t seem to get at the moment” the “concept of a conflict of interest”.
“No Minister should ever make a decision on a matter where they have a personal interest,” he said.
“If there is a conflict of interest – the public interest in the private interest conflict – then they should recuse themselves from the decision. They should step away from the decision.
“And nearly any ordinary member of the public, any local councillor, would understand that if there’s a planning decision in your own street or affecting your brother’s house or your aunties house, whatever, you cannot take part in that decision.
“You step out of the room, you declare it and you step out of the room, and that’s exactly what Sunak should have been doing.”
The Tories just don’t understand conflict of interest. In most countries it’s called corruption. pic.twitter.com/LTllwl9xGK
— Chris Bryant (@RhonddaBryant) April 11, 2022
He added that “there’s a conflict of interest for Sunak” because he was “making decisions about non-dom status, making policy on non-dom status”.
“The rules say he has to declare it to the ministers who are taking part in it, he has to step aside from that decision,” Chris Bryant added. “And there’s meant to be a written record of all of these decisions about how to deal with the conflict of interest.
“For Sunak there’s also a conflict of interest holding an American green card when he was Chancellor and negotiating with the United States of America, which is a country which he was declaring he intended to make his permanent residence.
“These are conflicts of interest and we’ve known now for the last year that this set of government ministers has no understanding of this very simple concept of a conflict of interest.”
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