New ministerial role for cleared Shahid Malik

Labour MP Shahid Malik returned to the Government today after a watchdog inquiry cleared him of breaching the ministerial code over a housing arrangement.

Mr Malik stepped down as justice minister last month while the Prime Minister's independent adviser on the code, Sir Philip Mawer, examined his financial arrangements.

But the Dewsbury MP announced today that Gordon Brown had restored him to the frontbench, in a new role as a junior minister at the Department of Communities and Local Government.

The PM is expected to complete his reshuffle with junior appointments today.

Mr Malik said this morning that Sir Philip had found no breach of the ministerial code over a reported sub £100-a-week rent deal on a property in the MP's constituency.

The inquiry findings have been passed to Downing Street but will not be published.





"Naturally, I am very pleased and relieved that the inquiry into allegations that I had breached the ministerial code has cleared me of any wrongdoing," Mr Malik said.

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

"Sir Philip's clean bill of health will go some way to mending some of the damage to my reputation and healing some of the hurt caused to family and friends.

"I always welcomed Sir Philip's inquiry as an opportunity to clear my name and I am delighted that this has now been achieved."

Mr Brown ordered Sir Philip's inquiry after the Daily Telegraph reported that Mr Malik claimed tens of thousands of pounds on his second home in London while renting his constituency home for less than £100 a week.

The Telegraph said Mr Malik's landlord, local businessman Tahir Zaman, confirmed he was paying well below the market rent for his address in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire - a claim the landlord later denied.

The newspaper reported that Mr Malik's claims for his second home in Peckham, south London, amounted to £66,827 over three years - the highest figure for any MP.

These claims were said to include £2,600 for a home cinema system - which was cut in half by the Commons Fees Office - £730 for a "massage chair", and £65 for a court summons for the non-payment of council tax.

The MP, who was Britain's first Muslim minister, said the inquiry concluded that he was "paying the market rate" after receiving evidence from the Daily Telegraph, the MP and commissioning independent valuations.

He criticised the reporting of the allegations, saying it led people to believe the inquiry was about expenses, rather than an alleged breach of the code.

He said: "Lazy reporting by segments of the media has caused great confusion, with many believing that the inquiry was about expenses, rather than an alleged breach of ministerial code.

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

He said he would now focus on serving his constituents.

"I will now focus all my attention and efforts on serving constituents in Dewsbury and Mirfield with my integrity intact and serving my country as minister in this Labour Government."







The Prime Minister's spokesman later confirmed that Mr Malik had been cleared of breaching the ministerial code.

"This is on the basis of an independent valuation of the properties," the spokesman said. "Mr Malik will be appointed to a junior ministerial role as part of the ongoing reshuffle."

Mr Malik had agreed to put his tenancy arrangements on a more formal footing, he added.

The spokesman said the Prime Minister "would support whatever Mr Malik believed was the right thing to do" in relation to repaying the expenses money.

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Latest stories from i100
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

Volunteer your expertise as Trustee for The Society of Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...

Email Designer

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Psychology Teacher

£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...

Food Technology Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week