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Johnson breaks Commons rule for 10th time for failing to declare interest in property on time

BORIS JOHNSON has broken Commons rules for the 10th time by declaring a financial interest in a property nearly a year late.

The Commons standards committee revealed yesterday that the former foreign secretary failed to register a 20 per cent ownership of a Somerset property within the 28-day timetable of acquiring it.

He acquired the interest in the property in January 2018, but did not register it until January this year.

Mr Johnson said that the rules relating to the threshold above which an interest has to be declared were “confusing.”

The committee said that the problem lay with Mr Johnson’s failure to consult the Guide to the Rules.

MPs argued that the breach demonstrated “an over-casual attitude towards obeying the rules of the House” and that repeated breaches demonstrates a “pattern of behaviour.”

The committee instructed Mr Johnson to meet with the Registrar of Members’ Financial Interests in person to receive a full briefing on his obligations as an MP to register all relevant interests.

It said it would consider “more serious sanction” for any further breaches of the rules.

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett said: “Boris Johnson’s facade of buffoonery will not hide the fact that he has broken the rules for failing to declare his financial interests.

“Worryingly this is becoming a pattern of behaviour: it is the 10th time he has registered his financial interests late.

“Mr Johnson has to realise that these rules are in place to strengthen democracy and ensure the interests of MPs are transparent. He cannot simply run roughshod over them.

“The report notes his lack of leadership in following the rules, which does not bode well should he have ambitions to topple Theresa May."

Lamiat Sabin is the Morning Star’s parliamentary reporter.

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