§ Ms Diane Abbott (Hackney, North and Stoke Newington) (Lab)
The Standards and Privileges Committee published its second report of this Session yesterday, and it directed that I should apologise to the House for my failure to register my work for the BBC television programme "This Week". I accept that I should have registered my work for the programme. I take full responsibility for the failure to register. I have co-operated fully with the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards in his investigation and I have apologised to him for my oversight. I am glad to take this early opportunity to apologise to the House.
As the commissioner notes in his memorandum, my involvement in the programme could hardly have been concealed given its nature, and most people aware of it might have assumed that I was being paid for it. But the House of Commons quite correctly has a strict code of conduct in these matters, and the Standards and Privileges Committee is rightly vigilant on this. I well remember the debates about the conduct of MPs in the 1990s, and for the House of Commons to retain the confidence of the public it is right that there should be the utmost transparency. Once again, I apologise to the House.