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LobbyGate Row Paves Way For Parliamentary Reforms

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Billy Kenber, Laura Pitel and Roland Watson, The Times

Senior MPs face a ban on holding financial interests that conflict with their parliamentary duties in the wake of the latest in a string of lobbying scandals.

 

David Cameron, John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, and Andrew Lansley, the Leader of the House, have paved the way for new rules governing the heads of select committees after Tim Yeo stepped aside as chairman of the panel scrutinising energy policy.

Select committee chairmen from across the political spectrum demanded urgent changes after it emerged that Mr Yeo had received hundreds of thousands of pounds from green energy companies.

Mr Yeo, the MP for South Suffolk, has denied any wrongdoing after he was recorded telling undercover journalists that he had coached a business executive ahead of his appearance before the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.

Yesterday Mr Yeo temporarily withdrew as chairman, saying that he did not want to serve as a distraction from the committee’s work while the parliamentary standards watchdog carries out an investigation.

The MP has also faced questions over a potential conflict of interest because he has extensive financial interests in green energy companies, including shares and options in low-carbon companies worth £583,000. His interests had been declared.

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