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The Scottish Mail on Sunday - 2021-11-21

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Rayner asks ethics tsar to investigate Rees-Mogg’s £6m

Sarah Vine on Sunday

By Anna Mikhailova DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR

JACOB REES-MOGG has been reported to Boris Johnson’s ethics watchdog after The Mail on Sunday revealed he did not declare £6million in cheap loans from his Cayman Islands-linked company. Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner has demanded an investigation into the ‘director’s loans’ taken out by Mr Rees-Mogg, on which he paid interest equivalent to 0.8 per cent over three years. In a letter to Lord Geidt, the Prime Minister’s ethics adviser, she says: ‘The financial benefit to Mr Rees-Mogg in this transaction is the difference in the interest he paid on this loan compared to a loan that he could take out on the open market from another provider, for example a bank.’ She adds the loans ‘should have been declared’ in his ministerial register of interests. Mr Rees-Mogg has also already been referred to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, Kathryn Stone. Last week, The Mail on Sunday revealed the Commons leader borrowed up to £2.94million a year in directors’ loans from his UK-based Saliston Ltd between 2018 and 2020, and did not declare the loans in his MP register of interests. He had only disclosed himself as an unremunerated director and shareholder of the firm. Mr Rees-Mogg insisted that as the loans were not earnings, he LAST WEEK: The Mail on Sunday reveals the Cabinet Minister’s possible impropriety was not required to declare them and hadn’t broken any rules. He said the 2018 loan was primarily used to buy and refurbish his £5.6million home in Westminster, which was bought with a Coutts Bank mortgage. He would not say what the rest of the money was for. Companies House records show he paid £48,945 in interest for the loans over three years, equivalent to 0.8 per cent. Saliston has a controlling stake in Somerset Capital Management LLP, the parent firm of Somerset Capital Management (Cayman) Ltd in the Cayman Islands. Labour MP Alex Sobel last week read extracts from the MoS report in the House of Commons and invited Mr Rees-Mogg to answer questions about the loans, including how he had the funds to repay the £6million so quickly.

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