Bassetlaw MP cleared of breaching ministerial code of conduct following inquiry into letter sent by his office

The Bassetlaw MP has been cleared following a Parliamentary inquiry into improper use of parliamentary stationery.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 2:20 pm

The investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards related to a letter sent by Brendan Clarke-Smith’s chief of staff to the Labour Party during Nottinghamshire County Council elections.

The case-and-desist letter was sent on Parliamentary headed paper, which the complaint alleged breached the ministerial code of conduct.

The letter had been sent in response to an election leaflet that claimed Mr Clarke-Smith had secretly met with ministers to discuss plans that would lead to the closure of Bassetlaw Hospital, in Worksop.

Brendan Clarke-Smith MP

The complaint that was brought under paragraph 16 of the code of conduct which states that MPs are personally responsible for ensuring that the use of expenses, allowances and facilities and services provided “from the public purse” is always in support of their parliamentary duties.

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The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathyrn Stone, rejected the complaint and said in her report that there was “no evidence” Mr Clarke-Smith used the stationery for improper means.

She said “it was her view that the letter was written in support of Mr Clarke-Smith’s parliamentary duties”.

Mr Clarke-Smith stated: “I am delighted that the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has rejected this frivolous and politically motivated complaint.

“I would like to thank the Commissioner and her team for their professionalism and support throughout this process.

“At a time when I am trying my best to bring in extra investment for Bassetlaw, it is a shame that Labour have decided to waste a great deal of time and taxpayers’ money over an argument relating to a sheet of paper and a postage stamp.”