Where did this Northumberland MP Guy Opperman take money from and why is he being investigated?

Guy Opperman is the MP for Hexham (Image: Wikimedia Commons)Guy Opperman is the MP for Hexham (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
Guy Opperman is the MP for Hexham (Image: Wikimedia Commons) | Wikimedia Commons
The MP referred himself to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for investigation

Northumberland MP and Government minister Guy Opperman has referred himself for investigation after receiving funds from a secretive organisation that does not name its members.

Hexham’s MP took money from the London and Northern Dining Club in October.

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Under parliamentary rules ministers are forbidden from accepting payment for speeches on topics linked to their government roles.

The Ministerial Code states: “Ministers should not accept payment for speeches or media articles of an official nature or which directly draw on their responsibilities or experience as Ministers.”

Mr. Opperman is said to have given speeches while in his current role as pensions minister at events hosted by two members of the London and Northern Dining Club.

The MP, who has been incumbent for Hexham since 2010, does not believe he has broken any rules.

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When contacted by The Mirror, Opperman referred himself to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for investigation.

Opperman said: “This political donation has been declared properly and transparently in accordance with the rules and was not connected to events I attended as a minister.

“To ensure confidence, I have asked the department’s permanent secretary to take an independent look into the facts.

A DWP spokesperson said: “The Minister for Pensions has asked the Department to examine the facts around these events which he attended in a ministerial capacity.”

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MPs are required to name individual donors, but due to an existing loophole, “dining clubs” can give cash without having to declare membership.

Mr. Opperman’s entry on the Register of Members’ Interests includes an address for the Club, a £700,000 riverside penthouse apartment in South London.

The apartment, owned by David Broome and Ozkar Yasar, who co-founded the Broome Yasar Partnership, has hosted Mr Opperman at at least three events since the beginning of 2020.

One event took place just weeks after the introduction of a Pensions Schemes Bill to parliament.

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Opperman assumed the role of Secretary of State for Pensions and Financial Inclusion in June 2017 under then-PM Theresa May, and has since retained the role under Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Mr Opperman is the Secretary of State for Pensions and Financial Inclusion (Image: Wikimedia Commons)Mr Opperman is the Secretary of State for Pensions and Financial Inclusion (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
Mr Opperman is the Secretary of State for Pensions and Financial Inclusion (Image: Wikimedia Commons) | Wikimedia Commons

He previously held the role of Lord Commissioner of the Treasury, but was moved in a reshuffle after a year in the role.

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Angela Rayner, called for an independent investigation into the donation.

She said: “These revelations raise serious questions for the government and the public deserve answers.

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“The Ministerial Code is clear that interests must be declared in full, and no Minister should take payments related to their brief.

“The Prime Minister must hand this over to an independent investigation so we can get to the bottom of it.”

There is no suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of Mr Yasar or Mr Broome.

Ms Rayner added: “Time and again the Tories are caught out treating the rules as optional and that the system is allowing them to do so.

“We need to stop this culture of one rule for them and another for everyone else.”

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