A Sheffield Labour MP is beginning a seven-day ban from the Commons over his part
in a bogus immigration bid by a former male escort who worked as his assistant.
Clive Betts applied for a security pass for his assistant
The penalty recommended for Sheffield Attercliffe MP Clive Betts after he was
found guilty of breaching the MPs' code of conduct by a parliamentary watchdog
was approved without a vote.
A report by the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee concluded in July
that Mr Betts acted "extremely foolishly" in agreeing to copy a doctored
document which Brazilian Jose Gasparo hoped would help him extend his stay in
And it found that in applying for a parliamentary security pass for Mr Gasparo
- who was working as his assistant and who he described as a close friend - Mr
Betts risked damaging public confidence in the integrity of Parliament.
Mr Betts gave an "unreserved apology" in a personal statement to MPs when
the report was published.
Presenting the report to the Commons on Thursday, committee chairman Tory former
Cabinet minister Sir George Young said it had been a "difficult" case but had
resulted in a unanimous report.
Deputy Commons Leader Phil Woolas backed the committee's recommendation.
The committee concluded Mr Betts acted foolishly
"Matters of this kind reflect on the integrity of the House as a whole and,
of course, upon each one of us individually.
"It is important therefore that we should show unity in responding to them
fairly but robustly."
He said Mr Betts had been the first MP to ask for an investigation into
allegations about his behaviour - in the wake of newspaper reports.
Shadow Commons leader Eric Forth said while the investigation had reached "a
rather painful conclusion" it was important that the public saw that MPs were
"capable and prepared to properly regulate ourselves".