Keir Starmer says he’s done nothing wrong as investigation under MPs’ conduct rules revealed

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Keir Starmer being investigated under MPs' conduct rules over football tickets

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he was confident he had done nothing wrong after it emerged he was being investigated over potential breaches of rules on earnings and gifts

Sir Keir is being investigated by Kathryn Stone, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, under two sections of the MPs’ rules of conduct on registering interests, the parliamentary website shows.

According to an update on the website of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Starmer is facing a probe under Article 14 of the MPs’ Code of Conduct.

The Code states: “Members shall fulfil conscientiously the requirements of the House in respect of the registration of interests in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. They shall always be open and frank in drawing attention to any relevant interest in any proceeding of the House or its Committees, and in any communications with Ministers, Members, public officials or public office holders.

During a visit to Wakefield, the Labour leader told reporters that the allegations were not a surprise, adding: “My office is dealing with it and will be replying in due course.”

Sir Keir Starmer has apologised for “administrative errors” after it emerged that he was being investigated over potential breaches of parliamentary rules on earnings and gifts.

A spokesperson for the Labour leader said the errors had led to “a small number of late declarations”. These were understood to relate to hospitality such as football tickets as well as book payments.

It is believed The Labour leader is facing an inquiry for declaring late, football match tickets he received from Crystal Palace in April and Watford in May.

The Crystal Palace gift was for two people to attend the Director’s Box on April 4 and was worth £720. It was registered a month and a day after being received.

The Watford gift was for four tickets for the Watford vs Arsenal match on March 6 and was worth £1,416. It was registered two months later.

For a politician that is trying to create a persona of having integrity, any negative findings from the investigation would be extremely damning and may well result in yet another relaunch followed by a three-word slogan

Asked if he was sure he had done nothing wrong, he said: “Absolutely confident, there’s no problem here.”

According to the parliamentary website, the first matter under investigation is: “Registration of interests under Category 1 of the Guide to the Rules (Employment and earnings).”

And the second is listed as: “Registration of interests under Category 3 of the Guide to the Rules (Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources).”

For gifts and hospitality, parliamentarians must register benefits worth more than £300, or multiple benefits from the same source if they exceed that value in a calendar year.

The register of interests for Sir Keir Starmer includes two copyright payments for books written before his election to parliament as well as an £18,450 advance from publisher HarperCollins for a book he is writing.

Details of the probe have emerged at a time when Starmer is separately being investigated by police over whether COVID-19 rules were broken during an evening in Durham in April 2021 when he was filmed having a drink and a curry was ordered.

The Labour leader has pledged to resign if he is fined over the event.

The new investigation on conduct rules was opened on 8 June.

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