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UK News

Tim Farron cleared by parliamentary commissioner over undeclared donations from Christian group

by Marcus Jones

Christian MP Tim Farron has apologised for the late declaration of donations - a delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

A complaint was made by a member of the public in regards to donations given by the group Faith in Public, a Christian think-tank founded by the MP, worth £48,000 and another from a refugee group worth £9,000.

All donations, which mainly fund his office staff, were above board and have been declared in previous years. While they should have been declared to Parliament within 28 days of receipt in 2020, they were only filed in February 2021.

Explaining the situation, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats said: "There are a couple of organisations that provide me with staff to help me with parliamentary work to help me serve my constituency here in the South Lakes.

"Parliamentary rules mean that I have to make a declaration every year, even if the staff do not change.

"I have made 2020's declarations but unfortunately I made it late as they were due during the pandemic when me and my team were totally focused with helping thousands of local residents here in the South Lakes, during a massively uncertain time.

"As a result we simply lost track of when the declarations had been made up to and when they needed renewing.

"I hold my hands up and apologise for this mistake and I will endeavour to make sure that I keep my declarations up to date as I have done throughout my time as an MP."

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards investigated the matter but said it was "not necessary" to refer it to the Standards Committee as Farron had rectified the mistake and apologised.

Tim Farron has committed to engaging Christians in politics through his podcast Mucky Business which is produced by Premier. The podcast looks to shed light into the murky world of politics and encourage Christians to pray for those working within it.

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