MP broke the rules in failing to declare council allowances on time
19 February, 2021 — By Calum Fraser
Claudia Webbe. Photo: David Woolfall
THE Town Hall’s former environment chief has been reprimanded by the House of Commons standards commissioner for breaching the ministerial code.
Bunhill ward councillor Claudia Webbe, who has been the MP for Leicester East since 2019, failed to declare the allowances she receives from her council duties on time, an investigation found.
Beyond her £82,000-a-year MP’s salary, Cllr Webbe receives £876.56 a month in allowances from the council.
She was required to declare her income on January 29 last year but she did not make a response until October 1, well past the 28-day deadline.
A member of the public made a complaint about this to the Commons Standards Committee and Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone opened an investigation. During this probe, Cllr Webbe declared a further £1068.73 she received from Tradewinds UK Ltd which resulted in a “further breach of the rules”.
Ms Stone delivered her findings to Cllr Webbe in a letter on February 11.
She said: “Ms Webbe has acknowledged and apologised for her breach of the rules, and committed to take appropriate steps to avoid a recurrence. I consider this breach to be at the less serious end of the spectrum.”
In her response to Ms Stone, Cllr Webbe said she was late to declare the council allowances because she had been overwhelmed by her work as an MP amid the pandemic.
She said: “I was working seven days a week with less than four hours’ sleep a day and still learning all the rules and workings of parliament.”
A by-election for her seat in Bunhill is due to take place on May 6.