Page last updated at 21:59 GMT, Monday, 22 March 2010

Alan Duncan MP: Foreign trips and rule breaches

Alan Duncan
Alan Duncan is MP for Rutland and Melton

A BBC investigation has revealed that more than 20 MPs have breached rules in relation to registering and declaring overseas trips paid for by foreign governments.

The trips taken by Alan Duncan and his relevant parliamentary activity and reply to the BBC are listed below.

Oman

Conservative MP for Rutland and Melton Alan Duncan visited Oman four times between November 2005 and January 2007, once in December 2007 and twice more in October and December 2008. These trips, which were registered, were paid for in whole or in part by the government of Oman.

On 2 March 2007, Mr Duncan asked a question relating to Oman without declaring an interest.

DECLARING FOREIGN TRIPS
Any MP who has an overseas trip paid for by a foreign government must register it within four weeks
They must declare a financial interest if it "might reasonably be thought by others to influence the speech, representation or communication in question"
This includes when tabling questions, motions, bills or amendments, and when speaking out during Commons proceedings
Members may not, for example, call for increased UK financial assistance to the government which provided the hospitality

During a debate on 6 June 2007, during which he declared no interest, Mr Duncan stated: "People in the Middle East understand that Britain is a good place to put their hundreds of millions - or even billions [of pounds]. We have neglected countries such as Oman and Kuwait. The last trade minister to go to Yemen was Anthony Nelson in 1996."

Reply

In response, Mr Duncan told the BBC: "My question and debate comments were properly made in the fulfilment of my duties as shadow secretary of state for business.

"There was no declarable interest which had any relevance to what I was saying, as I was promoting the interests of the UK not those of any other country.

"No oral declaration was necessary under the rules of the House and there is no logical argument for any such requirement.

"This is simply a case of an MP knowing what he is talking about."

Other MPs who have breached the rules:



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