MPs who employ members of their family

Request

Which MPs have employed and currently employ family members and how many did they/do they employ?


Response

IPSA holds the information that you request.

The term ‘connected party’ is defined in the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’) as:

  1. A spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner of the member;

  2. parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece of the member or of a spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner of the member; or

  3. a body corporate, a firm or a trust with which the MP is connected as defined in section 252 of the Companies Act 2006.

The information contained in our response to your FOI request relates to ‘connected parties’ as defined by the Scheme, which includes but does not separately identify ‘family members’.

MPs must complete a connected party declaration when employing staff members, stating whether the employee is or is not a connected party, as defined by the Scheme.

We publish annualised data that includes the names of all MPs who have declared to IPSA that they employ a connected party and the name of that connected party.  This annualised data can be found via this link to our publication website.  The annualised data for 2010/11 and 2011/12 is already available on our website and the annualised data for 2012/13 will be published later this year.

Exemptions applied

The FOIA states that information that is easily accessible by other means is not subject to release.  Therefore, as the information you have requested relating to the 2010/11 and 2011/12 financial years is already available on our website it is exempt from disclosure under section 21 of the FOIA (information accessible to applicant by other means).

Further, the FOIA states that information intended for future release is not subject to release.  As the information you have requested relating to the 2012/13 financial year will be published following the end of the financial year, it is exempt from disclosure under Section 22(1) of the FOIA (Information intended for future publication).

In relation to our application of the exemption at section 22(1) of the FOIA, we have considered whether the public interest in releasing the information outweighs the application of the exemption. It is our opinion that the public interest is best served by publishing the information at set dates, rather than on an ad hoc basis, as this way a clear and complete set of information is published, which should also avoid causing confusion. It is for these stated reasons that the application of the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

Ref:
FOI2013-A191
Disclosure:
March 1, 2013
Categories:
MPs' CONNECTED PARTIES
Exemptions Applied:
Section 21