A SCOTTISH Tory MP breached the code of conduct for parliamentarians, Westminster’s standards watchdog has ruled.

The parliamentary commissioner for standards, Daniel Greenberg, investigated the Conservative MP David Duguid over allegations that he had failed to declare his wife’s shares in oil giant BP when speaking on relevant topics in Parliament.

Duguid’s wife has more than £50,000 worth of shares in BP, which the commissioner ruled should have been declared on three occasions in parliament in 2023.

The Banff and Buchan representative’s failure to do so was found to be a breach of part six of the MP’s code of conduct.

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This states: “Members must always be open and frank in declaring any relevant interest in any proceeding of the house or its committees, and in any communications with ministers, members, public officials or public office holders.”

Duguid had argued that because his wife’s shares were neither more than 15% of BP nor worth more than £70,000, he did not need to declare them either in Parliament or on his register of interests.

Greenberg replied: “Your feeling is predicated on the false premise that the requirements for declaration apply only to registrable interests.

“Paragraph 2 of Chapter 2 expressly states “[declaration] covers a broader range of interests than registration”, and paragraph 5(b) gives family members’ financial interests as a specific example.”

The National: David Duguid

Duguid (above) further argued that he did not need to declare his wife’s shares because their existence had not had “any material bearing on work I have done as a member of Parliament”.

However, the commissioner responded: “The question is not whether the shareholding influenced your behaviour but whether it might reasonably be thought by others to influence your words or actions as a member.”

Greenberg said Duguid had breached the MPs’ code of conduct, but also concluded that the breach was “inadvertent” due to the Scots Tory’s failure to educate himself on the rules.

He ruled that Duguid had to accept he had breached the rules, apologise, and attend training on the rules governing MP’s conduct.

Responding to the ruling, the Scottish Tory MP said: "I confirm acceptance of your opinion that, within the contributions referenced in your letter, an observer might reasonably have thought that my wife’s shareholding could have influenced my contributions.

"I maintain that my wife’s shareholding has never had any bearing on my contributions, and so I acknowledge your satisfaction that failure to declare was indeed inadvertent.

“I therefore acknowledge, on that basis, that I have breached that rule on declaration, for which I apologise.

“I undertake to attend upon you or a member of your staff for training in the operation of Chapter 2 of the Guide. I look forward to receiving further details on the training.”