Speaker Lindsay Hoyle about to step in over Tory sleaze row – warning for Boris

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He is set to propose a review of the Commons’ standards procedures in the wake of the Owen Paterson scandal.

It is likely to be set up in consultation with standards committee chairman, the Labour MP Chris Bryant.

A review Could lead to MPs found guilty of financial misdemeanours being able to appeal to a retired judge.

It may also include looking at how MPs were allowed to earn thousands of pounds from outside interests on top of their Commons’ salary of £81,932.

A source close to the Speaker said: “He has got to listen to what MPs are saying in tomorrow’s debate before taking decisive action. But he is clear he will have to step in to protect the integrity of parliament if no other solution is forthcoming.”

MPs are set to clash in a three-hour debate on the sleaze row in parliament on Monday with many expected to vent their fury at Boris Johnson’s attempt to use the verdict on Mr

Paterson to demand reforms of the standards system.

Environment Secretary George Eustice yesterday defended the government’s position over the row, saying it had been trying to give politicians under investigation the right to appeal against any findings against them – rather than protect Mr Paterson.

He told told Sky News that it was “all a storm in a teacup”.

But Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer accused the PM of “corrupt and contemptible” behaviour in trying to “protect” Mr Paterson.

He told the BBC the government was “trashing” the UK’s reputation for upholding democratic standards.

“Instead of upholding standards, [the prime minister] ordered his MPs to protect his mate and rip up the whole system,” he said.

“That’s corrupt and it’s contemptible and it’s not a one-off.”

On Saturday, former Conservative Prime Minister Sir John Major said the current government had been “politically corrupt” over its treatment of the House of Commons, adding:

“There’s a general whiff of ‘We are the masters now’ about their behaviour.”

Adding to the controversy the Tory Party has also been accused of abusing the honours system by offering seats in the Lords to a select group of multi-millionaire donors who give more than £3 million to the party.

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An investigation by the Sunday Times and the Open Democracy website reported that wealthy benefactors appear to be guaranteed a peerage if they take on the temporary role of party treasurer and increase their donations beyond £3 million.

In the past 20 years, all 16 of the party’s main treasurers – apart from the most recent, who stood down two months ago after donating £3.8 million – were offered a seat in the Lords, they reported.

A Government spokesman said: “Peerages reflect long-standing contributions to civic life and also a willingness to further contribute to public life as a legislator in the Second Chamber.

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