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MP in legal action threat over probe

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Sir Henry Bellingham has said he plans to take legal action against a national newspaper over a story about him.

The North West Norfolk MP was accused of breaking parliamentary rules by the Sunday Times in an article earlier this month.

The paper claimed he had broken Parliamentary rules by failing to declare his chairmanship of an African mining and construction company.

When approached by the Lynn News, about the article Sir Henry claimed the story was inaccurate.

Sir Henry Bellingham
Sir Henry Bellingham

He said: “It’s in the hands of my lawyers. The Sunday Times did not publish my rebuttal and they got it wrong.”

The paper reported Sir Henry as saying he took the view he could declare the role when the company became operational.

It also said the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards had declined to comment, though a Labour MP was highly critical commenting that it was “against the notion of public decency”.

Sir Henry stated he had declared his interests “within four weeks” as is stated in the code of conduct, and said the Sunday Times was wrong to suggest he had not done so upon “becoming chairman last January”.

He added: “It’s difficult to add any more at this stage other than they got it wrong. It’s a small start-up company, and I was a founder and director of the company.

“We had our first board meeting in November, 28 days after I had declared it.”

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