SNP MP Phil Boswell faces investigation over parliamentary conduct

Register of interests probe is third recent blow for the Scottish Nationalists

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The SNP is today facing the embarrassment of a third MP being investigated for their conduct in just a matter of months.

According to reports today, the parliamentary commissioner for standards, Kathryn Hudson, has agreed to investigate claims that Phil Boswell, SNP MP for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill has failed to declare in the register of members’ interest a directorship.

The referral the commissioner was made last month by Paul McGarry, a Liberal Democrat candidate for Central Scotland in next year’s Holyrood elections after it emerged that Mr Boswell failed to declare on the Parliamentary register of interests that he was the sole director of Johnston Ltd. Under the rules MPs are expected to disclose any companies in which they have shareholdings above 15 per cent.

Boswell has been criticised also after he took an £18,000 interest-free loan which he received as a result of his job as a contract manager, although his declaration of interests  notes that this is repayable on demand.

Speaking last month, Scottish Labour MSP James Kelly called on first minister Nicola Sturgeon to publicly criticise Mr Boswell. He argued:

“These are serious allegations and the SNP must look into this as a matter of urgency. If politicians are saying one thing in public you would expect them to be living up to it in private. Nicola Sturgeon branded tax avoidance obscene, immoral and despicable. She called for a zero tolerance approach in Scotland.”

While the SNP have sought to defend Mr Boswell, arguing that he has done nothing wrong, it will prove yet a further embarrassment for what remains an inexperienced parliamentary party in Westminster and comes following a series of troubles for the party.

In September, the party’s MP for Edinburgh West, Michelle West was force to resign the party whip pending a police investigation into alleged irregularities around property deals.

In November, the party faced a further blow after Natalie McGarry, MP for Glasgow East resigned the whip as well after the police named her as part of an investigation into allegations that £30,000 of donations had gone missing from the pro-independence campaign group Women for Independence.

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

4 Responses to “SNP MP Phil Boswell faces investigation over parliamentary conduct”

  1. Tamas Marcuis

    The only outrage here is Labour politicians making claims when their own party is sleazy from top to bottom. Many Labour MPs have failed entirely to declare interests or the use of expenses for property investments. Buying and selling London apartments through expenses and pocketing the profits. Jim Murphy and other Labour Scottish MPs were among the worst maximizing expenses every year spending more time property dealing and play the stock-market than in parliament.

    We have to now put up with a propagandist media publishing one smear accusation after another. Of somehow while a London based BBC TV news presenter bought a flat in shock horror “London”. The accusation being what? That he still owns his main home in his Glasgow seat, but rents a flat in London. That he didn’t eject his tenants and lose the rental earnings. But somehow its okay for a Labour MP to stay in his £3 million Chelsea town house paying himself rent from expenses while claiming a holiday cottage in Cumbria as his main residence, charging travel expenses there to top that.

  2. JAMES MCGIBBON

    Who is the Labour MP with the Chelsea Townhouse?

  3. crackenthorp

    The usual “it’s not us guv it’s the others”, how pathetic the SNP is riddled with corruption

  4. Michael Anasakta

    Shouldn’t the question simply be one of fact: Did Phil Boswell, SNP MP for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill fail to declare in the register of members’ interest a directorship.

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