All-party Parliamentary Groups: National Security

House of Commons Commission written question – answered at on 15 May 2024.

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Photo of Daniel Kawczynski Daniel Kawczynski Conservative, Shrewsbury and Atcham

To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, with reference to paragraph 8 of the Eighth Report of Session 2022-23 of the Committee on Standards, All-Party Parliamentary Groups: final proposals, HC 228, published on 5 April 2023, what steps the Commission is taking to tackle the risk of improper (a) access and (b) influence by foreign actors through APPGs.

Photo of Daniel Kawczynski Daniel Kawczynski Conservative, Shrewsbury and Atcham

To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, with reference to paragraph 17 of the Eighth Report of Session 2022-23 of the Committee on Standards, All-Party Parliamentary Groups: final proposals, HC 228, published on 5 April 2023, what steps the Commission is taking to ensure that Secretariats of APPGs (a) are not funded by and (b) do not receive benefits from foreign governments.

Photo of Charles Walker Charles Walker Chair, Administration Committee, Chair, Administration Committee

The Commission does not control or regulate All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs).

The Committee on Standards put forward recommendations which were approved by the House on 19 July 2023. These included the following provisions which are now contained within the APPG rules:

a) groups are not permitted to have a secretariat either provided or funded by a foreign government. b) a group’s officers must undertake due diligence as to whether a foreign government is the eventual funder of a secretariat or other benefit. If a group receives a benefit (other than a secretariat) from a foreign government, this is permissible but must be registered. c) for groups receiving over £1500 in benefits in a calendar year, the group shall publish an annual report explaining its work and a due diligence statement in relation to foreign government funding.

As the Committee recommended, the Parliamentary Security Department and the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards on 20 September 2023 issued guidance on due diligence. That guidance was emailed to all APPG Chairs and is available here: Guide to the rules on All-Party Parliamentary Groups - UK Parliament

There is no ban on the receipt of benefits from foreign governments, but such benefits must be registered.

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