MP presses Major on lobbyist's pass

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Indy Politics
The Prime Minister has been asked whether he condones one of his ministers supplying a prized House of Commons security pass to a lobbyist advising some of the country's biggest companies.

Last week, the Independent revealed that Richard Page, the Junior Trade and Industry Minister, had given the pass to Barry Joseph, an adviser to major companies such as British Aerospace and Racal. Mr Joseph is listed on the Commons computer as a research assistant to Mr Page.

Mr Joseph's pass was renewed three months after Mr page joined the Government.

Following the revelation, the Labour MP Dale Campbell-Savours demanded an investigation. Betty Boothroyd, the Speaker, said she had made inquiries and found that Mr Joseph had held the pass for 10 years. "There is nothing untoward in him having a pass from a Member of this House, provided the relevant interests have been declared in the appropriate place," said Miss Boothroyd.

Mr Campbell-Savours has now written to the Prime Minister, saying there was "a clear conflict of interest", and asking John Major to "establish the fullest possible inquiry into what is clearly an abuse of the House and inexcusable activity by a minister".