Minister returns to government after expenses investigation

June 9, 2009 at 2:23 pm Leave a comment

shahis
A junior minister has returned to the government after the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards said he had not broken the ministerial code.

Shahid Malik remains a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State but has been moved from Justice to Communities and Local Government, it emerged today.

Last month The Daily Telegraph reported that Mr Malik rents a house at “well below the market rate” from a landlord who has a previous conviction for letting an uninhabitable property.

Using a ministerial position for financial gain is a breach of the code.

The Prime Minister had asked the Commissioner, Sir Philip Mawer, “to establish as a matter of urgency the facts on the matter and advise accordingly.”

Today he reported that Mr Malik paid a market rate and had therefore not broken the ministerial code.

“Naturally, I am very pleased and relieved that the inquiry has cleared me of any wrongdoing,” Mr Malik told the BBC.

“Although I, along with my friends and family, never doubted the outcome, it had undoubtedly been an incredibly stressful period.

“It took me 15 years to build my name and reputation and tragically it was trashed in one mad media day.

“Sir Philip’s clean bill of health will go some way to mending some of the damage to my reputation and heeling some of the hurt caused to friends and family.”

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