Matt Hancock investigated by Parliament's standards watchdog - lobbying

Matt Hancock is among three MPs facing probes by Parliament’s standards commissioner Daniel Greenberg, it has been disclosed.

The ex-health secretary is being investigated for allegedly trying to influence the commissioner’s enforcement of the rules.

A spokesman for Mr Hancock said he was “shocked and surprised” by the investigation.

He added that Mr Hancock denied trying to lobby the commissioner.

The investigation was revealed by an update to the commissioner’s website, which confirmed that a probe was launched on Tuesday.

The website said Mr Hancock is under investigation for potentially breaching a rule in the MPs’ code of conduct that prevents them from lobbying the commissioner in a way “calculated or intended to influence his consideration” of whether the code has been breached, without offering details.

Mr Hancock’s spokesman confirmed Mr Hancock had written to Mr Greenberg “in good faith” to offer evidence for an inquiry he is currently conducting, but did not offer further information.

“It’s clearly a misunderstanding and Matt looks forward to fully engaging with the commissioner to clear this up,” the spokesman added.

More “inappropriate” behaviour from Hancock … :question:

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Something else the slime ball will get away with, these people have little or no conscience.

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The former health secretary, Matt Hancock, has been found to have breached Parliament’s rules for attempting to influence an inquiry into a Conservative MP.

Mr Hancock wrote a letter defending Tory MP Steve Brine, who was investigated over lobbying allegations. Mr Hancock denied trying to influence the investigation by Parliament’s standards commissioner.

But on Monday, the Commons Committee on Standards released a report, which found Mr Hancock had made “a clear attempt to influence the commissioner’s investigation”. The committee said Mr Hancock had breached a rule that prevents MPs from lobbying the commissioner in a way that is “calculated or intended to influence his consideration”.

Although Mr Hancock did not set out to breach the rules, had no prospect of personal gain from writing the letter, and did “not act with malice”, the committee said, he “has still not acknowledged his mistake”.

The committee recommended that Mr Hancock should make a personal statement to apologise to the House of Commons and the standards commissioner, Daniel Greenberg. He should also attend a “briefing on his obligations under the code with the commissioner”, the committee’s report said.

The report said Mr Hancock had sent the commissioner an unsolicited letter while he was investigating Mr Brine - the chair of the Commons health committee - over claims he lobbied the NHS on behalf of a recruitment firm.

Leaked messages from 2021 showed Mr Brine had been trying contact health bosses while acting as a paid consultant for Remedium Partners, a recruitment firm offering doctors for free to the NHS.

Mr Brine, a former health minister, said he was responding to a call from ministers to help the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The texts were some of the more than 100,000 WhatsApp messages involving Mr Hancock that were leaked to the Telegraph newspaper by journalist Isabel Oakeshott.

Last month, Mr Brine was found to have breached the rules twice by failing to declare in his approaches to cabinet ministers in 2021.