Heath to register all his interests

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SIR EDWARD Heath is to make a "clean breast" of his business interests after allegations that he has breached the rules under which MPs must disclose their work outside Parliament.

In a surprise U-turn, the former Tory prime minister is to amend his entry in the MPs' Register of Interests, revealing four new paid jobs in the new list to be published in March.

However, Sir Edward's rethink will not head off an investigation by Elizabeth Filkin, the Commons standards watchdog who takes up her post next month. Her office has written to Fraser Kemp, a Labour backbencher, saying an inquiry will be launched into Sir Edward's case after a complaint by the MP.

In his current entry in the register, Sir Edward, the longest-serving MP in the House, the only outside post listed is his chairmanship of Dumpton Gap, an unlimited private company.

His new entry will state that he is also a senior adviser to Cosco UK, the British branch of the China Ocean Shipping Company, owned by the Chinese government; a member of the advisory group of the China Index Fund Ltd, run by the insurance group Commercial General Union; an international adviser to Praemium Imperiale, a major arts award backed by Japanese businessmen; and a member of the governing board of the Centre for Global Energy Studies, a London-based think-tank set up by Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, the former Saudi petroleum minister.

The former prime minister has always argued that he did not need to list the four posts on the grounds that he he was not acting in his capacity as an MP when acting as a paid adviser to them. He is said to take seriously the criticism that has been made of his behaviour, but remains confident that he has not breached Commons rules.