Search icon


29th Feb 2024

Michael Gove placed under investigation by Commons standards watchdog


Michael Gove

by Joe Connor

The probe relates to his register of financial interests

Cabinet minister Michael Gove has been placed under investigation by Parliament’s standards watchdog.

The probe, opened on Wednesday, relates to the Housing Secretary’s register of financial interests, according to the Standards Commissioner’s website.

The details of investigations by the Standards Commissioner, Daniel Greenberg, are kept confidential until the inquiry is concluded and those under investigation are barred from discussing the allegations.

But the Guardian last week reported that Gove failed to register VIP hospitality he enjoyed at a football match with a Conservative donor whose firm he had recommended for multimillion-pound personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He was entertained at a Queens Park Rangers match in 2021 with David Meller, whose company Meller Designs was awarded six PPE contracts worth £164 million following the then-Cabinet Office minister’s referral in 2020, according to the newspaper.

Mr Gove’s spokesperson told the Guardian Mr Gove’s failure to declare the two complimentary tickets he received was an “oversight” and that he had written to parliamentary authorities to inform them of the potential omission.

The MPs’ code of conduct requires them to register gifts, benefits and hospitality over a value of £300.

The senior Tory is one of six MPs currently being investigated by the Standards Commissioner, all Conservatives.

These include Deputy Speaker Dame Eleanor Laing, Sir Bernard Jenkin and Virginia Crosbie, who are believed to be under investigation for allegedly attending a birthday drinks event in breach of lockdown rules.

The Metropolitan Police closed their investigation into the same allegations in December with no action being taken against any individuals.

Other Conservative MPs under investigation include Bob Stewart and Miriam Cates, who is facing claims that she has caused “significant damage to the reputation of the House as a whole, or of its members generally”.

Related links:

Lee Anderson suspended from Tory party following ‘Islamophobic’ comments

Ex-BBC editor reveals biases on political programmes

Government confirms dates it will start monitoring bank accounts

Government to pay TikTokers for posting videos urging migrants not to cross Channel