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Fri, 5 June 2020

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Caroline Lucas under investigation for 'offering Commons tours in exchange for donations'

Caroline Lucas under investigation for 'offering Commons tours in exchange for donations'
2 min read

Caroline Lucas is being investigated over claims she offered tours of the Commons in exchange for £150 donations.

The Green Party MP was referred to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards by a member of the public for offering “perks” to party donors, The Argus reports.

The complaint relates to a fundraising drive by the Brighton and Hove Green Party which aimed to raise cash ahead of the 2019 general election.

Donors who gave £150 to the campaign were offered a 30-minute private tour of the House of Commons with Ms Lucas, who is the MP for Brighton Pavillion.

The figure is almost six times the cost of a public tour of Parliament, which costs £26.50.

It is also possible to organise a free guided tour of the Commons by contacting your local MP or a member of the House of Lords.

The House’s Code of Conduct for MPs states: “Members must not offer tours of the House or of the Elizabeth Tower or Big Ben in raffles or auctions. 

“Members are reminded that tours on the parliamentary estate which would otherwise be available at nil cost (for example, public tours of the Visitor Route) should under no circumstances be offered as raffle or auction prizes.”

It also states that the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards may investigate offers of tours if there is sufficient evidence of a breach of the rules. 

In a statement, Ms Lucas said: "I'm aware that a case against me has been brought to the commissioner, and an investigation is currently underway.

"I do not believe I have done anything wrong. 

“I have been advised that the commissioner's investigations are confidential so it would not be appropriate for me to say anything more at this time."

Other “perks” offered by Ms Lucas included lunch with her in exchange for £250, or a cake baked by her for £100.

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