Michael Gove failed to register football tickets on time

Michael Gove
Michael Gove

Michael Gove has been found to have breached Commons rules by failing to register hospitality at three football matches on time.

The levelling up secretary failed to declare the VIP tickets within the 28 days required, Parliament's standards commissioner ruled.

The commissioner also found he had failed to register an unpaid role at a charity.

Mr Gove apologised for the omissions, which he said were a "mistake".

The commissioner, Daniel Greenberg, allowed him to update his registered interests without a punishment, adding they were "minor".

Mr Greenberg opened an investigation last month after the Guardian reported Mr Gove failed to register hospitality he received at a Queens Park Rangers game he attended with Conservative donor David Meller in August 2021.

Mr Gove wrote to the commissioner to apologise for the "error" in not registering the two tickets for him and his son.

After checking his dairy, he also admitted he had failed to register tickets for him and his son at two other QPR games, in January 2020 and January 2022.

He said all they were in the box of club chairman Amit Bhatia, which are not normally put on sale to supporters but were valued by QPR at £460, £542, and £460 plus VAT for each pair of tickets.

He added that on each occasion he was the guest of QPR, the west London club where he had previously been a season-ticket holder.

'Significantly late'

He also admitted he had failed to disclose in his Commons register an unpaid role he holds as a governor of the Ditchley Foundation.

The foundation, based at Ditchley Park country house in Oxfordshire, was set up to promote the ties between the US and Europe and hosts events attended by "decision makers and experts".

Mr Gove has now added the tickets, and the position, to his parliamentary register of financial interests.

In a letter, Mr Greenberg said Mr Gove would face no sanction, adding: "Although all four interests have been registered significantly late, I am satisfied that they can all be fairly described as minor in nature".

Mr Gove accepted the ruling, describing it as a "fair and reasonable response to my failure".