Published: 16:00, 13 May 2016
Gillingham and Rainham MP Rehman Chishti’s delay in declaring hospitality tickets to watch Gillingham FC was an oversight, a parliament watchdog has ruled.
The Sun said that he failed to report that he accepted the free seat in the directors’ box as a guest of chairman Paul Scally.
All Members of Parliament must declare such hospitality to Commons authorities within 28 days as part of strict anti-corruption rules.
Under the headline “Tory MP facing football freebie penalty after snaffling £900 of tickets”, the Sun reported how Mr Chishti had enjoyed “lavish perks” with the £100 VIP tickets.
Mr Chishti referred himself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards in March following the reports.
He said: “My constituents will know that I am a passionate supporter of local sports clubs including the local football team. In March I voluntarily declared my attendance at Gillingham Football Club matches and hospitality received by the Club in the House of Commons Register of Members’ Financial Interests.
“The Commissioner has now said she is satisfied that my late registration was a genuine error and I have apologised for the late declaration and accepted the decision of her inquiry. The Commissioner has concluded this matter using the rectification procedure and considers this issue closed.”
A spokesman for the Standards Commissioner said at the time of his self-referral: “We will not comment on individual cases, nor can we interpret how the rules would apply to a specific or a hypothetical case.”