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Code of Conduct and Rules of the House

The Code of Conduct and the Guide to the Rules relating to the conduct of Members

The Code of Conduct describes the responsibilities that MPs have as Members of the House and are based on a set of principles. The Guide to the Rules relating to the conduct of Members sets out in detail MPs' obligations to register and declare their financial interests, and the restrictions on lobbying for reward or consideration. It also describes the procedure for the investigation of complaints.

These responsibilities are separate from and additional to those of other citizens. The Code applies to MPs in all aspects of their public life. It does not seek to regulate what MPs do in their purely private and personal lives.

The obligations set out in the Code are complementary to those which apply to all MPs by virtue of procedural and other rules of the House and the rulings of the Chair, and to those which apply to MPs whose conduct is also within the scope of the Ministerial Code.

The rules create obligations that MPs must follow. The House of Commons also provides guidance to MPs. Guidance generally reflects good practice but it may not be appropriate on every occasion.

The Commissioner may only investigate allegations of breaches of the rules. She may not investigate complaints about:

  • policy matters;
  • a Member's views or opinions; and
  • a Member's handling of or decision about a case, including their handling of correspondence, whether or not anyone involved is a constituent of the Member

Unless the MP's conduct is such that it significantly damages the reputation of the House of Commons as a whole or of its Members more generally.