An MPs' watchdog today called for former Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson to be suspended from the Commons for three weeks after he was found guilty of failing to register a Â£200,000 payment from disgraced tycoon Robert Maxwell.
The Commons Committee on Standards and Privileges recommended the punishment after Mr Robinson failed to produce proof that he had not received the money.
In May, the committee censured Mr Robinson for misleading an earlier parliamentary inquiry into the payment, but gave him three months to prove that he had not cashed a cheque from Mr Maxwell's Hollis Industries.
Mr Robinson instructed a firm of accountants to search Mr Maxwell's company records to see if they could find the cheque alleged to have been paid to him in 1990 in return for management services to AM Lock, a subsidiary of Hollis.
But he wrote to committee chairman Sir George Young last week to say they had been unable to find any trace of it.
Despite this, the committee stated: "We do not assume that the payment was made to, or benefited, Mr Robinson or one of his companies."
The committee's report, released this morning, said Mr Robinson had failed to provide Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Elizabeth Filkin with "full and accurate responses" about the payment.
It added: "We regard that as a serious breach of the rules of the House. In our view, Mr Robinson's conduct falls below the standard the House is entitled to expect of its members.
"We recommend that Mr Robinson be suspended from the service of the House for three weeks."Reuse content