The Commons standards commissioner Kathryn Stone did not reveal details of the allegation yet, but it appears that the Leader of the House borrowed £2.94m a year in directors loans from Saliston Ltd. The company was owned by Mr Rees-Mogg between 2018 and 2020. The watchdog is also investigating Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross for possible standards breaches.
Labour’s shadow Commons leader Thangam Debbonaire said: “It is right that the standards commissioner is investigating what appears to be yet another egregious breach of the rules, with Jacob Rees-Mogg failing to declare millions of pounds of director’s loans.”
She added: “The prime minister also needs to investigate whether the ministerial code has been breached.”
The Labour Party have also lodged a complaint against the procedure.
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner separately wrote to the independent adviser on ministers’ interests, Lord Geidt, over the loans.
In her letter, Mrs Rayner said that failing to declare directors’ loans worth £2.94m a year “allowed Mr Rees-Mogg to borrow a large sum of money at a very low-interest rate” and argued that it “should have been declared”.
Mr Rees-Mogg said the loans had been properly declared, after the story was first reported in the Mail on Sunday.
In a statement, he told BBC News: “Saliston is 100 percent owned by me and this is declared clearly in the Commons register and to the Cabinet Office. It has no activities that interact with government policy.”
He said the loans were primarily taken out for the purchase and refurbishment of his Westminster home “as temporary cash flow measures”.
He added: “All loans have either been repaid with interest in accordance with HMRC rules or paid as dividends and taxed accordingly.”
The Tory MP concluded: “The register asks for earnings, not loans, which is why I was declared an as a non-remunerated director until I resigned on entering government. Loans are not earnings and are not declarable in the register of interests.”
Mr Rees-Mogg resigned as a director of Saliston in 2019, but his wife Helena remains on the board.
A spokesman for the North East Somerset MP said he would comply with the commissioner’s investigation fully and answer all questions.
Thangam Debbonaire, the shadow leader of the Commons, said it was right that the commissioner was investigating “what appears to be yet another egregious breach of the rules”.
She said: “Over the last few weeks, we have seen that Conservative MPs repeatedly act as if they can put their own private business interests ahead of their constituents and the prime minister must put a stop to this.”
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The MPs’ code of conduct does not specifically cover director’s loans but it states: “Members shall fulfil conscientiously the requirements of the house in respect of the registration of interests in the register of members’ financial interests.”
It continues: “They shall always be open and frank in drawing attention to any relevant interest in any proceeding of the house or its committees, and in any communications with ministers, members, public officials or public office holders.”
Mr Rees-Mogg’s estimated net worth in 2016 was from £55 million to £150 million, including his wife’s expected inheritance.
According to Spears, Mr Rees-Mogg is a historic cars enthusiast, owning a 1968 T-Series Bentley, a 1936 3.5 Litre Bentley, as well as a Lexus for daily driving.
Mr Rees-Mogg also owns a £5.625 million property behind Westminster Abbey, on Cowley Street (bought in 2018), the £4m freehold of a building in Pall Mall and the £1.5m leasehold of a flat inside it.