A senior Tory MP is under investigation by a parliamentary watchdog after allegations he lobbied the head of the NHS on behalf of a firm he received money from.
Steve Brine, who is chair of the health select committee, is facing a standards committee probe for alleged breaches of the “paid advocacy” and “declaration of an interest” clauses.
WhatsApp messages leaked to the Daily Telegraph had suggested the MP lobbied the head of the NHS in England on behalf of a firm paying him £1,600 a month during the pandemic.
The MP said in a text to Michael Gove that he had been “trying for months” to convince the health service to hire anesthetists through Remedy, a recruitment company he worked for.
Advocacy rules set by parliament state MPs are not allowed to lobby for an organization from which they are receiving “a reward” for six months after receiving a payment.
It was a breach of this which led to the resignation of former Tory minister Owen Paterson in 2021, in a sleaze scandal that marked the beginning of the end of Boris Johnson’s administration.