Page last updated at 16:47 GMT, Wednesday, 13 June 2007 17:47 UK

MP's event breached Commons rules

Photo of Julian Brazier MP
Julian Brazier apologised over the breach of rules

A Kent MP has been rebuked by the parliamentary standards watchdog for holding a dinner at the Commons which raised money for his local party.

Canterbury MP Julian Brazier held the event for members of the Conservative Patron's Club from his constituency.

Commons rules state that dining rooms cannot be used for material gain.

Mr Brazier said the dinner in April was allowed as guests were only charged enough to cover costs but the watchdog found there had been a breach of rules.

Standards commissioner Sir Philip Mawer said it was against Commons regulations because the event was used heavily in the marketing of the club which donated around 2,500 a year to the constituency association.

Although the complaint against Mr Brazier was upheld by the Standards and Privileges Committee it said no further action would be taken because of the "specific circumstances of the case".

Sir Philip, in a report to the committee, said that as changes in the rules regard Parliamentary dining had been published during the Easter recess, and Mr Brazier had only learned about them two days before the dinner, it was not unreasonable for the MP to have concluded that it was too late to cancel or move the event because of the disruption and costs that would have resulted.

The committee said Mr Brazier had unreservedly apologised.

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