Personal Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:01 pm on 17th July 2014.

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Photo of Lord Blencathra Lord Blencathra Conservative 12:01 pm, 17th July 2014

My Lords, although I never actually provided nor intended to provide parliamentary services to the Cayman Islands Government in return for payment, I acknowledge and I deeply regret that I entered into a written contract under which I was apparently committed to provide such services as one of 14 specified “consultancy services”.

I now recognise and accept that such a contract was in clear breach of the requirement in paragraph 8(d) of the Code of Conduct that Members must not seek to profit from membership of the House by accepting or agreeing to accept payment or other incentive or reward in return for providing parliamentary advice or services. I misled myself into thinking that since it was understood that I would not be making representations in reality, the wording of the contract did not matter. But words do matter. I was wrong and I apologise to the House for that misjudgment.

When the contract was renewed in November 2012, that reference to providing services was deleted, and in March 2014 the contract ended. I deeply regret having breached the code in this way and the embarrassment to the House that I recognise is caused by such conduct. I offer the House my sincere apology.