Page last updated at 13:58 GMT, Thursday, 14 August 2008 14:58 UK
Committee on Standards and Privileges

The Committee on Standards and Privileges considers complaints of breaches of privilege, supervises the Register of Members' Interests and the Code of Conduct, oversees the work of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and receives the Commissioner's reports.

The Commissioner gives advice about the rules on MPs' conduct and the registration and declaration of MPs' financial interests.

The Commissioner also investigates complaints that the rules may have been broken, and reports to the committee.

The committee is made up of backbenchers from both sides of the House and is chaired by a senior Opposition MP.

It can take evidence and it reports its findings to the House of Commons.

The committee normally recommends that no action should be taken if a member has committed a minor or unintentional breach of the rules.

In more serious cases it can recommend that an MP should apologise, or that he should be suspended from the House for a fixed period.

Suspension involves loss of salary as well as exclusion from the Parliamentary precincts, and can only be imposed by the House itself.

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