Wood savaged by Pecuniary Interests Registrar

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.

Comments (70)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment