The Registrar of Pecuniary Interests has published his report into Michael Wood's inaccurate disclosures, and the findings are quite savage, with a recommendation he be referred to the Privileges Committee. The report finds:
- Even after the scandal broke, he took 27 days to correct his pecuniary interest declarations
- Wood claims he simply forgot both the AIAL shares and Contact shares in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 returns.
- It seems he also owned a second lot of AIAL shares through the J M Fairey Trust
- Wood never sought any advice when completing his initial return or any subsequent return, unlike most mps
- Wood confessed he had never even read Appendix B of Standing Orders which sets the rules for the register (note he is a former chief whip and deputy leader of the house)
- Wood also admitted he had never read the explanatory notes, which give examples and guidance
- Wood claims that despite the 16 interactions with the Cabinet Office over his shareholding in AIAL, it never occurred to him to update the previous returns with the Registrar
- Wood claims he never noticed the dividend payments from AIAL and Contact as they just went straight into his bank account
- Wood claimed that while he was a Trustee of the J M Fairey Trust, he was not engaged with it, and left things to his lawyer
- The Registrar notes Wood appears not to be aware of the duties of Trustees under the Trusts Act 2019, and trustees can't delegate their powers
- Wood lied to the media when on 8 June he said he had corrected his declarations – he did not do so for several further weeks
- The shares held in a trust should also have been disclosed
No surprise he has been referred to the Privileges Committee for contempt, as he clearly was contemptuous of thinking the rules applied to him.