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Sat, 31 October 2020

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Labour refer Jeremy Hunt to standards commissioner over luxury flat purchase

Labour refer Jeremy Hunt to standards commissioner over luxury flat purchase

John Ashmore

2 min read

Labour have referred Jeremy Hunt to the parliamentary standards commissioner after he failed to declare a stake in a company which bought luxury flats on the south coast.

Opposition frontbencher Jon Trickett claimed the Health Secretary appeared to have "taken part in illegal activity" by not declaring his involvement in a property deal.

The Health Secretary has admitted breaching money laundering legislation brought in by his own government by failing to notify Companies House or the parliamentary register of MPs' interests of his stake in Mare Pond Properties Limited – which hoovered up seven flats in Southampton’s luxury Ocean Village development.

Laws introduced by the Conservatives  in 2016 made it compulsory for anyone holding a share of 25% or more in a firm to declare their interest within 28 days. Failure to comply is punishable by a fine or up to two years in prison.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Hunt registered his stake in the company six months later after being alerted by a member of the public.

He said he had rectified the issue before the revelations came to light, and claimed the error was a result of an “honest administrative mistake”.

In a statement this morning, shadow secretary for the Cabinet Office Mr Trickett said Labour would be pursuing the matter further.

"It appears Jeremy Hunt has taken part in illegal activity in his failure to declare his involvement in a luxury flat investment," he said.

"This is simply unacceptable and especially so given the secretary of state's position at the heart of Theresa May's government.

"Labour will today refer Jeremy Hunt to the standards commissioner to look into this serious breach. He should have had the decency to refer himself rather than sweep this under the carpet."


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