TaxPersonal TaxMP calls for Tories to be excluded

MP calls for Tories to be excluded

A Labour back-bencher has demanded that four Tory treasury spokespersons - including shadow chancellor Michael Portillo - be banned from serving on the commons committee debating the Finance Bill.

Denis McShane claims that outside interests would mean they would breach parliamentary rules if they oppose the governments Budget plans.

The Rotherham MP has written to parliamentary standards commissioner Elizabeth Filkin to ask for a ruling on the issue. He said Portillo’s connection with an oil exporation company, for which he had to apologise for failing to mention in a Commons speech last month about petrol prices, debarred him from serving on the committee.

His deputy shadow chief secretary to the treasury David Heathcoat-Amory is a director of a property management company and a agricultural machinery company.

Junior spokesman Howard Flight is joint chairman of a City investment fund holding company Investec Guinness Flight Limited which. Oliver Letwin is a director of Rotheschild Banking House.

McShane said the strict advocacy rule would bar them from initiating proceedings on subjects related ‘specifically and directly’ to their interest, effectively barring them from debate in committee on the Finance Bill.

Already his intervention has had an effect when Heatcote-Amory put an ‘R’ alongside amendments to the bill that he tabled to show that he had a relevant paid interest.

A spokesman for Portillo said the shadow chancellor was quite happy for McShane to highlight the fact that the Tory treasury front bench had extensive business experience and knowledge.

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