Hunt faces possible probe after using Commons notepaper for campaign

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is facing a possible probe after he used House of Commons notepaper for leadership campaign letter

  • Hunt could face a probe for writing on official Commons paper to fellow MPs
  • Foreign Secretary sent out his ‘Unite to Win’ logo on Commons headed letters
  • MPs may not use them for political purposes or to ‘confer undue advantage’
  • But last night a campaign source told the Mail it was common practice to do so 

Jeremy Hunt faces an investigation for using official House of Commons paper for his Tory leadership campaign.

The Foreign Secretary wrote to MPs trying to win their support on official Commons headed letter paper, with his ‘Unite to Win’ logo at the top.

Under Parliamentary rules, MPs are banned from using letters for political purposes or to ‘to confer an undue advantage on a political organisation’.

He is likely to face a probe by Kathryn Stone, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, if a formal complaint is made.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt outside Downing Street on Wednesday – he is likely to face a probe if a formal complaint is made

Last night a Hunt campaign source said writing to other MPs on Commons notepaper was ‘within the rules’ and claimed other candidates had also done it. 

A spokesman for the Parliamentary Commissioner said: ‘If the Commissioner receives an allegation that a member has breached stationery rules in the rules of conduct, she will consider whether it is within her remit and if sufficient evidence to begin an investigation.’

Mr Hunt’s letter, which was sent this week, set out his pitch for the leadership and included an apparent swipe at Boris Johnson for not being ‘statesmanlike’.

He wrote: ‘We need a leader the EU will engage with. If you want to be treated like a strong country you must act like a strong country.

‘But if you are not statesmanlike they won’t budge.’

He added: ‘Our country and our party are in a perilous situation. We urgently need to unite as colleagues, rediscover our mission as a party and reassert our confidence as a country’.

Hunt is likely to face a probe by Kathryn Stone, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, if a formal complaint is made (stock photo of the House of Parliament)

Rules for MPs say that Commons paper should not be used ‘in connection with work for at the behest of a political party…or supporting the return of any person to public office.’

They say: ‘It should not be used where its authentication of a connection with the House is inappropriate, or where there is a risk that its use might wrongly be regarded or represented as having the authority of the House’.

Previously, MPs have been forced to apologise and repay cost when caught misusing Commons stationery.

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