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Yeo to sue Sunday Times over conduct claims

MP Tim yeo on a visit to Hadleigh. ENGANL00520130531180345

MP Tim yeo on a visit to Hadleigh. ENGANL00520130531180345

South Suffolk’s outgoing MP is suing a national newspaper over claims he breached the MPs’ code of conduct.

Tim Yeo is suing The Sunday Times after an article in the newspaper in June, 2013, alleged Mr Yeo had offered to approach Ministers on a company’s behalf.

It was also claimed that he had once told a witness, working for a company in which Mr Yeo had an interest, what he should say when he had appeared before the Commons energy select committee which Mr Yeo chairs.

The allegations followed an undercover operation in which journalists posed as representatives of a company promoting new energy-efficient solar technology.

The Committee on Standards cleared Mr Yeo on all counts of any breach of the MPs’ Code of Conduct.

Following the result Mr Yeo said: “I welcome this report. After a full investigation, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner accepted, as I have always maintained, that I did not break the rules of the House.

“This investigation included a thorough examination of the full video recording produced – after a six-week delay – to the Commissioner by the Sunday Times.

“Based on what I actually said, rather than what I was reported by the newspaper to have said, the Commissioner found and the committee confirms that I have not acted in breach of the Code of Conduct.”

A spokesman for Mr Yeo confirmed that the MP was taking action against The Sunday Times over the allegations and was being represented by libel lawyers Carter Ruck under a no-win no-fee arrangement.

Mr Yeo was dropped by South Suffolk Conservative Association who voted not to re-select him as their candidate.

Assington father-of-four James Cartlidge has now been selected by the association to replace Mr Yeo as their Parliamentary candidate.

Mr Cartlidge, a district councillor who represents Bures St Mary, Little Cornard and Newton, was chosen at a special general meeting in Ipswich in July by members of the South Suffolk Conservative Association.

It came after criticisms that Mr Yeo, an MP since 1983, was not a regular presence in his constituency with members saying they wanted someone who lived locally.

 

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