A FORMER Tory minister has been found to have broken second job rules by failing to declare a role with a drugs company.

Steve Brine failed to inform the Government’s Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, which polices second jobs for ministers past and present of taking up a job with Sigma Pharmaceuticals.

Brine served as a junior minister in the Department for Health and Social Care from 2017 to 2019.

Under the rules, he was required to seek the Committee’s advice when he became a strategic adviser with Sigma.

The National:

The Government has now conceded Brine (above), the Tory MP for Winchester, broke the rules which are intended to stop companies gaining undue access to high-level politicians because of the contacts of their new employees.

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In a letter to the Committee, the Cabinet Office noted Brine had “apologised for the delay in submitting his application”.

Brine was also found to have contacted the minister in charge of the vaccine roll-out in his role as a Sigma employee.

Lord True, in charge of the Cabinet Office’s response to the committee’s investigation, said that he felt the “perception of risk of undue influence is low” though he admitted it gave the impression Sigma was able to gain access to the Government through Brine’s former role.

He added: “It is vital that such perceptions are avoided in order to safeguard the integrity of the Government. I have informed Mr Brine of the Government’s decision by direct letter, outlining the importance of adhering to the Business Appointment Rules.”

Brine served as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care in Theresa May’s government.

He was one of 21 MPs expelled by Boris Johnson for attempting to prevent a no-deal Brexit. He was readmitted to the Tory party on October 29, 2019.

Brine was approached for comment.