LONDON, (Reuters) – Prime Minister Gordon Brown was ticked off for breaching rules on expenses yesterday but cleared of deliberately trying to deceive parliamentary authorities.
Parliament’s sleaze watchdog John Lyon had investigated complaints that Brown had failed to properly declare 1,600 pounds he received in rent from sub-letting part of his Scottish constituency office to Labour Party colleagues.
Lyon’s report cleared Brown of failing to declare the rent, but did confirm he breached guidelines introduced in 2004 which state that MPs cannot sub-let accommodation paid for from parliamentary allowances.
However the report concluded Brown had done this inadvertently and neither he nor the Labour Party had benefitted as a result. Consequently he will not face any punishment.
“We accept that Mr Brown’s breach of the rules of the House was inadvertent and that he took steps to rectify it as soon as it was drawn to his attention,” the House of Commons Standards and Privileges Committee said.
“Mr Brown has apologised and in our view no further action is necessary.”
Conservative MP Greg Hands who made the complaint said he accepted Brown’s apology.
“It does not appear that the Prime Minister has personally profited from the breach, and he did quickly rectify the situation when it was brought to his attention by my complaint and by the media,” he said.