Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt may have taken part in “illegal activity” by failing to declare his investment in seven luxury flats, Labour said today.
Shadow Cabinet Office secretary Jon Trickett said his party would be referring Hunt to the parliamentary standards watchdog over his failure to properly declare a 50 per cent interest in Mare Pond Properties Limited.
It is claimed Mr Hunt set up the company with his wife Lucia Guo to buy seven properties in the Ocean Village development in Southampton in February.
Mr Hunt apologised for failing to declare a business interest with both Companies House and the parliamentary register of MPs’ interests, but claimed the omissions were the result of “honest administrative mistakes” and he did not gain financially as a result.
But Mr Trickett laid into the minister’s actions, saying: “This is simply unacceptable and especially so given the Secretary of State’s position at the heart of Theresa May’s government.”
He added: “He should have had the decency to refer himself rather than sweep this under the carpet.”
Mr Trickett also said that “it appears Jeremy Hunt has taken part in illegal activity” by not declaring he was a “person with significant control” of Mare Pond Properties.
Millionaire Mr Hunt failed to notify Companies House of his 50 per cent interest in Mare Pond Properties from when it was set up in September until March 29, more than six months later.
Under the Companies Act, failing to declare a person with significant control of a company to Companies House within 14 days can be punished with up to two years’ imprisonment or a fine.
Mr Hunt also failed to inform the parliamentary register of members’ interests of his share in the business within the 28-day time limit.
Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) summed-up the view of many:
“It’s kind of difficult to swallow that a Health Secretary who goes out of his way to claim 27p in expenses for a half-mile car journey made an “Honest mistake’ in failing to declare the purchase of luxury flats!”