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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 February 2008, 17:35 GMT
MP family vote 'later this month'
Derek Conway
Scrutiny of relatives' pay increased after the affair involving Mr Conway
Plans to order MPs to declare relatives who work for them will be presented to the Commons, and voted on, within the next three weeks, the BBC understands.

The reforms proposed by the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee are intended to be in place by 1 April.

They follow the suspension of Tory MP Derek Conway over payments to his son.

An extra category will be added to the Parliamentary register of interests so MPs can disclose the salary band of any family members whom they employ.

They will also be able to describe the work these relatives do.

The recruitment of family members entered the public spotlight when Mr Conway was barred from the Commons last month for 10 working days.

The MP, who represents Old Bexley and Sidcup in south-east London, also had the Tory whip withdrawn.

'Full review'

He was found to have paid his student son Freddie thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money for work which the Parliamentary watchdog suggested had never been completed, although Mr Conway later insisted Freddie had undertaken his duties.

Then it emerged more than 100 MPs used public funds to employ relatives as secretaries or researchers, although there was no obligation to declare these arrangements.

They included Labour's Peter Hain, the former work and pensions secretary, who employed his 80-year-old mother as a secretary on a part-time basis.

Conservative leader David Cameron said earlier this month that all of his party's front bench spokespeople would be instructed from July to detail allowances spent and any family members working for them.

There is also to be a "root and branch" review by the Commons estimates committee into MPs' allowances and pay, which is expected to report in the autumn.

SEE ALSO
A row over family businesses
14 Feb 08 |  UK Politics
Complaints against MPs increase
09 Feb 08 |  UK Politics
Cameron sets out expenses changes
05 Feb 08 |  UK Politics
Spotlight on MPs' expenses
05 Feb 08 |  The Westminster Hour
'I'm no crook,' says suspended MP
03 Feb 08 |  UK Politics
MPs urged to declare family staff
01 Feb 08 |  UK Politics



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