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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Former Copeland MP cleared of breaking rules

A former Cumbrian MP has been cleared of breaching parliamentary rules after being secretly filmed by a national newspaper in June last year.

Jack Cunningham photo
Jack Cunningham

Jack Cunningham, who was Copeland’s MP for 35 years, had been suspended from the Labour Party after a newspaper ‘sting’ alleging he offered to take payments for parliamentary lobbying to help a fake South Korean solar energy company.

An investigation by Paul Kernaghan, the House of Lords commissioner for standards, and a former chief constable of Hampshire, found that Lord Cunningham did not breach the Code of Conduct.

Mr Kernaghan said: “At times he used loose language and provided ammunition for critics. However, I find that he did not demonstrate a clear willingness to breach the code.”

Lord Cunningham apologised for his part in an episode that he recognised had damaged the reputation of parliament. He strongly denied any wrongdoing, claiming he knew all along it was a sting and he was testing out the under-cover reporters who posed as representatives of the solar energy company.

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