LONDON—Matt Hancock, a former health secretary, is among three Members of Parliament under investigation by Parliament’s standards watchdog, potentially sparking allegations of corruption within the Conservative party.
Commissioner Daniel Greenberg has launched several inquiries into the matter. Hancock is accused of violating the MPs’ code of conduct by lobbying the commissioner in a way that may have influenced his assessment of a separate breach. The latest version of the code, which includes the new offense, was approved by MPs in December 2022.
“I am surprised by this investigation and strongly deny any wrongdoing,” a spokesperson for Hancock said. “Far from lobbying the commissioner, Matt wrote to Greenberg in good faith to offer some additional evidence that he thought was not only pertinent but helpful for an inquiry the parliamentary commissioner for standards is currently conducting. It’s clearly a misunderstanding, and Matt looks forward to fully engaging with the commissioner to clear this up.”
The letter sent by Hancock reportedly contained evidence that he was uniquely placed to provide. “I believe I have done everything I can to assist the Commissioner with her enquiries,” Hancock wrote in his letter. “I look forward to seeing the outcome of her investigations.”
Currently, only two other investigations are being conducted by the standards commissioner. One of them is looking into whether former health minister Steve Brine broke lobbying rules. The investigation into Brine was triggered when his texts to Hancock and other cabinet ministers were released as part of a leaked cache of messages sent and received by the then-health secretary during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are committed to upholding the highest standards of conduct in public life,” a spokesperson for the parliamentary commissioner for standards said. “We will assess any evidence brought to our attention and take appropriate action.”
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