Hain guilty of 'serious' failings over donation

Former Cabinet minister Peter Hain was guilty of "serious and substantial" failings in not registering more than £100,000 of donations to his Labour deputy leadership campaign, according to Westminster's sleaze watchdog.

The Commons Standards and Privileges Committee said the scale of the rule breach caused "justified public concern".

But the committee merely ordered the Neath MP to make an apology on the floor of the House after accepting there was no "intention to deceive".

In a statement, Mr Hain said: "The Cabinet Secretary stated that I complied fully with the Ministerial Code, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) exonerated me and now the Parliamentary authorities have also accepted that the mistakes I made were honest mistakes.

"I have been asked to repeat my apology on the floor of the Commons, which I am happy to do."

The CPS has already announced it will be taking no criminal action against Mr Hain over the failures.

The Committee's report dismissed the idea that Mr Hain's workload as Work and Pensions Secretary and Wales Secretary was an excuse for the errors.

"This is a case of an experienced Member, a Cabinet Minister at the time, failing in his duty as a Member of Parliament to register donations within the time required by the House," it said.

"We understand that the pressures on Ministers and on front-benchers can be onerous, but we cannot accept - and we are sure that none of them would suggest - that this excuses them from their obligations under the rules of the House."

The report indicated that usually the failures would have attracted a "heavier penalty", but Mr Hain had already lost his job.

"Because of the seriousness and scale of this breach and noting the considerable, justified public concern that it has created, we would ordinarily have been minded to propose a heavier penalty.

"However, we accept that there was no intention to deceive and Mr Hain has already paid a high price for his omissions."





Mr Hain resigned from the Government last January when the Electoral Commission triggered a police investigation into his late declaration of around £130,000 in donations.

Some 19 gifts were handed to his failed Labour deputy leadership bid between May and November 2007, but not listed with the Register of Members' Interests within the four-week time limit.

Standards Commissioner John Lyon identified a change of campaign manager as an "important factor" in the failures.

"Another important factor was the disbandment of the campaign team while donations were still coming in, and before the large debts that were incurred during the campaign had come to light," the committee said.

"A further important factor was Mr Hain's failure to identify any continuing need for registration after it ceased in May 2007, until prompted to do so by one of his donors in November."

It is understood that Mr Hain is likely to make his apology to the House on Monday.











The Commissioner said that, in his evidence, Mr Hain had "noted the priorities and pressures" he was under as Northern Ireland and Wales Secretary until the deputy leadership election finished on June 24, and Work and Pensions and Wales Secretary as part of Gordon Brown's first Cabinet.



However, he had "not sought to avoid his own responsibility for having failed to report all his donations".



Mr Hain's aide, Phil Taylor, was replaced by Steve Morgan in early April. All donations were properly registered until May, when there was a "breakdown within his campaign organisation of the system for notifying him of his obligations to register", according to Mr Lyon.



After last month's CPS announcement that Mr Hain would face no action over the £103,156.75 declared late, he signalled a desire to return to the Cabinet.



But, despite the committee stopping short of recommending his suspension from the Commons, the strength of its criticism is likely to prevent his rehabilitation.



Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
Gavin Maxwell in Sandaig with one of his pet otters
peopleWas the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?
News
Rowsell says: 'Wearing wigs is a way of looking normal. I pick a style and colour and stick to it because I don't want to keep wearing different styles'
peopleThe World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?