MPs and Members of the House of Lords are expected to adhere to high standards in their public life.
There are separate Codes of Conduct for MPs and Lords that give guidance on the way they should carry out their public duties.
Standards: House of Commons
In the House of Commons the Code of Conduct is backed up by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and the Committee on Standards and Privileges. MPs are required to register a wide range of financial interests they may have which are relevant to their parliamentary work.
Code of Conduct for MPs
The Code of Conduct provides guidance to MPs on the standards of conduct expected during the course of their parliamentary duties.
Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
The Commissioner oversees the maintenance and monitors the operation of the Register of Members’ Interests. The Commissioner receives and investigates complaints about Members who are allegedly in breach of the Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules and reports the findings to the Committee.
Committee on Standards
The work of the Commons Committee on Standards includes deciding on complaints against individual MPs reported to them by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, and oversight of the work of the Commissioner.
Register of Members’ Interests
The Register of Members’ Interests lists financial interests which MPs are required to register. These include outside jobs or consultancy work, gifts or membership of organisations that might affect their position in Parliament.
Register of Lords’ Interests
The Register of Lords’ Interests is compiled by the Lords Registrar, under the authority of the Clerk of the Parliaments, and allows Members of the Lords to declare any interests that they hold outside Parliament.
Code of Conduct for the House of Lords
The Code of Conduct for Members of the Lords provides guidance on the standards of conduct expected during the course of their parliamentary and public duties.
- Code of Conduct for the House of Lords (PDF 333 KB)
Committee on Standards in Public Life
The Committee on Standards in Public Life (originally the Nolan Committee), is an independent committee set up in 1994. Its recommendations led the House of Commons to make a number of changes to the way MPs’ conduct was to be regulated, including creating:
- the post of Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
- a new Committee on Standards and Privileges
- a new Code of Conduct for MPs
- Committee on Standards in Public Life (external website)