- register certain interests in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests
- declare registered and non-registered interests whenever they are relevant in a wide range of circumstances, including in parliamentary proceedings such as debates and committee meetings, meetings with ministers, public officials and other MPs, and in correspondence
The rules on these duties are strict and it is essential that you have a copy of the most up-to-date versions of both the Code of Conduct and the Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members.
The Register is overseen by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and run by the Registrar of Members’ Financial Interests. You can contact the Registrar for advice on registering and declaring interests.
The office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, who oversees the Register of Members’ Financial Interests, sends all new MPs a registration form and a copy of the current rules of the House, and also arranges a personal briefing.
You must complete and return the form within one month of your election. After your initial register entry, you must notify the registry within four weeks of any changes to your registrable interests, subject to the financial thresholds.
Declaring interests is different to registering interests. Declaration means drawing attention to registered or unregistered interests on almost any occasion when someone else might consider them to influence what you say or do.
You are required to declare your interests, if relevant, from the time of your election, even before you’ve submitted an entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. You are expected to declare a wide range of interests. They include not just registered interests but
- the interests of partners and family members
- past interests up to one year old
- expected future interests
You must declare interests not just when speaking but, for example, when submitting questions and early day motions, when requesting adjournment debates or emergency debates, when joining a select committee and when adding names to early day motions and other motions. In these circumstances an [R] will be included against your name when it appears on the Order Paper. But you’re not expected to declare an interest when asking an oral question or a supplementary question in the Chamber, or when it would unduly delay the business of the House.
MPs’ staff interests
MPs' staff who hold a parliamentary pass sponsored by an MP are required to register outside employment and gifts, benefits and hospitality, subject to financial thresholds, in the Register of Members' Secretaries and Research Assistants.