What the Commissioner can look into
If you have evidence that a named MP has broken the rules set out in paragraphs 11 to 18 of the House of Commons Code of Conduct, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards may be able to look into it.
What the Commissioner cannot look into
What happens in the chamber of the House of Commons. That is for the Speaker.
What MPs have done when acting as Ministers. That is for the Prime Minister.
Crimes. Those are usually for the police.
Breaking the civil law. For example, data protection breaches are for the information Commissioner (www.ico.org.uk).
How an MP has responded to your concerns, or the “standard of service” they have provided.
How an MP has voted, or the policies they support.
An MP’s exchanges on social media.
The Commissioner will not reply substantively to emails about these matters, which fall outside her remit. (Please note that no-one in Parliament is responsible for standards in the last three of these areas.)
Bullying, harassment or sexual misconduct
There are special arrangements for investigating these complaints, in confidence, under the Parliamentary Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme. First contact the specialist helplines, who will advise and support you:
After an investigation
When the Commissioner upholds a complaint, she can resolve it herself if the MP admits their error and apologises. In serious cases she submits a formal report to the Select Committee on Standards, for them to consider a sanction. (Please note that the arrangements for sanctions are currently under review.)
The Commissioner’s full report is always published, along with the evidence, unless it relates to an investigation under the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme. These are treated confidentially.
Past investigations by the Commissioner
You can read about these via the links at the far left hand column on this webpage.
Page last updated: 07 October 2019