Northern Ireland news

Standards watchdog gagged on MPs' probes

Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone is prevented from saying if an investigation is underway

RULES introduced last year forbid Westminster's standards watchdog from naming MPs whose conduct is under investigation.

Changes to the Independent Complaints and Grievance Policy in July 2018 means the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone is also unable to say whether any investigation is underway

In the wake of last December's BBC Spotlight programme about Ian Paisley's luxury holiday in the Maldives, a number of politicians issued statements saying they had alerted Ms Stone to the allegations.

However, complainants are prevented from publicising any investigation their correspondence may have prompted.

When the rules were updated, primarily to prevent the naming of MPs under investigation for harassment, bullying and sexual harassment, Ms Stone made it known that she was unhappy about the restrictions on disclosing the identities of those whose conduct was being probed.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: