No action over code-breach MSP

A POLITICIAN escaped punishment yesterday after being found to have breached the MSPs' code of conduct.

Members of Holyrood's standards committee said Nationalist back-bencher Kenneth Gibson had failed to register interests in a property he owned in time.

In addition, having become aware that he should have registered the property, Mr Gibson then failed to do this within seven days.

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Committee members agreed Mr Gibson, the MSP for Cunninghame North, had breached both the MSPs' code of conduct and the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act. But convener Gil Paterson said the initial failure to register the property was an "unintentional error" and there was "no reason to think that the member had anything to gain by failing to register this interest".

Mr Paterson added there were "sensitive personal circumstances" that explained why the SNP MSP had not registered the property within seven days of becoming aware of the need to do so.

In those circumstances, MSPs on the committee agreed that there should be no sanctions imposed on Mr Gibson.

However, Mr Paterson said: "The committee will be writing to Mr Gibson emphasising the importance of the register of interests and urging him to be more vigilant in keeping his register of interest up to date in the future."