Page last updated at 21:47 GMT, Monday, 22 March 2010

Andrew Rosindell MP: Foreign trips and rule breaches

Andrew Rosindell
Andrew Rosindell is the Conservative MP for Romford

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 Andrew Rosindell and his relevant parliamentary activity are listed below.

Gibraltar

The Conservative MP for Romford in north-east London, Andrew Rosindell, visited Gibraltar in September 2006 and September 2008 on visits paid for by the government of Gibraltar. The second trip was registered in April 2009 - outside the four-week registration period stipulated in the MPs' code of conduct .

On 16 and 18 October 2006, before the first trip was registered on 31 October, Mr Rosindell asked the following 13 questions relating to Gibraltar, without declaring an interest. The questions were numbered 94307 to 94316, 95257 to 95260, and 95294.

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS
To view them, open Parliamentary Question number facility
Select "last five years" in the date search section
Enter relevant numbers in "Parliamentary Question number" box

The code of conduct states that MPs who have yet to register an interest "shall not undertake any action, speech or proceeding of the House (except voting) to which the registration would be relevant, until he or she has notified the Commissioner of that interest".

After the registration of the first trip, Mr Rosindell asked 23 questions relating to Gibraltar, without declaring an interest. These were question numbers 107482, 124919 to 124924, 124978, 125853, 129733, 139064 to 139073, 145565, 160163 and 160164.

Mr Rosindell also tabled four questions relating to Gibraltar after the September 2008 visit, without declaring an interest and before he registered the trip. They were question numbers 229131, 229122, 229125 and 229151.

After registering the visit, he tabled the following questions but still did not declare an interest: 272618, 279046, 279059, 279060, 279092, 282277, 309096, 309100.

On 9 October 2008, Mr Rosindell secured a debate on Gibraltar. Records of the Order of Business, the Summary Agenda and the Weekly Information Bulletin indicate that he did not declare an interest. Whenever an interest is declared, the symbol "[R]" appears on the relevant notice or order papers.

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

At the start of the debate, Mr Rosindell states that he has visited Gibraltar but does not declare the interest listed in the Register of Members' Interest.

During the debate he says: "I am proud to be strongly linked to Gibraltar as a result of many years of visiting the Rock and campaigning to support the rights, freedoms and self-determination of the great British Gibraltarian people, and I want to take this opportunity to champion a distinctive, welcoming and loyal British Overseas Territory."

The BBC put to Mr Rosindell that by making this statement, and tabling a large number of questions, his actions might be perceived as lobbying on behalf of an overseas power from whom hospitality has recently been received - potentially a serious breach of parliamentary rules.

Within a year of registration of these two trips Mr Rosindell tabled seven early day motions that related to Gibraltar, without declaring an interest.

1. GIBRALTAR DAY CELEBRATION / 25.10.2006 / EDM 2861

2. TROOPING THE COLOUR / 07.06.2007 / EDM 1653

3. BRITISH OVERSEAS TERRITORIES AND REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY / 10.11.2008 / EDM 2468

4. BRITISH OVERSEAS TERRITORIES AND REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY / 28.01.2009 / EDM 624

5. TROOPING THE COLOUR / 10.06.2009 / EDM 1644

6. TENTH ANNUAL GIBRALTAR DAY IN THE CITY OF LONDON / 20.10.2009 / EDM 2119

7. BRITISH OVERSEAS TERRITORIES AND REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY / 05.01.2010 EDM 541

Mr Rosindell signed a further two early day motions without declaring an interest.

1. GIBRALTAR AND THE EUROPEAN ELECTIONS / 14.05.2009 / EDM 1489

2. BRITISH OVERSEAS TERRITORIES AND THE LAYING OF THE CENOTAPH WREATH / 11.01.2010 / EDM 566

The BBC asked Mr Rosindell to comment, but as yet no reply has been received.


Other MPs who have breached the rules:



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