Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

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The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is an officer of the British House of Commons. The Commissioner is in charge of regulating MPs' conduct and propriety. One of the Commissioner's main tasks is overseeing the Register of Members' Financial Interests, which is intended to ensure disclosure of financial interests that may be of relevance to MPs' work.[1]

He or she is appointed by a Resolution of the House of Commons, and works a four-day week. The remit of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards does not extend to the House of Lords: the post of Lords Commissioner for Standards was created in 2010.[2]

The current Commissioner is Kathryn Hudson.


The post was established in 1995 with Sir Gordon Downey as the first Commissioner, serving the newly formed Committee for Standards and Privileges. He investigated the Cash-for-questions affair.

The second Commissioner was Elizabeth Filkin (1999–2002), whose first case involved Peter Mandelson and a large loan which he had failed to declare in the Register of Members' Interests.[3] Her departure was controversial, with some people, notably Peter Oborne, claiming that high-profile MPs had effectively forced her out because they did not like her investigating them, although her job required it.[4]

The next Commissioner was Sir Philip Mawer. MPs he investigated include George Galloway and Derek Conway. He avoided investigating high-level MPs such as cabinet ministers. Unlike his predecessor he was appointed to a second term, but he did not complete it; he took up a new post at the beginning of 2008 as an independent adviser on Ministerial Standards to the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown.[5]

John Lyon, CB, was Commissioner from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2012. In an article about Lyon's questioning by the parliamentary enquiry into MPs' expenses, Private Eye described him as "feeble" and an "establishment stooge".[6]

Kathryn Hudson was appointed in September 2012 to serve as Commissioner from 1 January 2013 for a non-renewable five-year term.[7][8]


  1. ^ "Register of Members' Financial Interests". Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 8 November 2017. 
  2. ^ "Lords Commissioner". Parliament website. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Dillon, Jo (17 February 2002). "Elizabeth Filkin: the 'Witch' puts away her broomstick". The Independent. London. 
  4. ^ Oborne, Peter (3 September 2007). "Hounding of a decent woman". Daily Mail. London. 
  5. ^ Irvine, Chris (10 June 2009). "Sir Philip Mawer: profile". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  6. ^ "Called to Ordure". Private Eye: 1241. 6 August 2009. 
  7. ^ "Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. September 12, 2012. col. 382–387. 
  8. ^ "Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards: Nomination of Candidate" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 2016-09-27. 

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