Devon MP Geoffrey Cox warned after failing to declare thousands in rent

Devon MP Geoffrey Cox was forced to apologise after he failed to declare thousands of pounds in rent on his London flat.

The Attorney General admitted failing to register the income in a letter to Parliamentary authorities.

Mr Cox has served the Torridge and West Devon constituency since 2005 and was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 2003.

The senior Tory minister was once the highest paid MP when he earned £800,000 in a single year for his work as a criminal barrister – but he still claimed 49p in expenses to pay for a pint of milk, The Mirror reports.

Mr Cox admitted that he failed to register rent from tenants on his Battersea flat for six months between August and January this year, according to reports in the Sunday Telegraph .

It comes after the Attorney General doomed Theresa May’s desperate bid to get her Brexit withdrawal deal over the line last Tuesday.

Mr Cox told MPs that the legal position on the UK being able to leave the Irish backstop “remains unchanged” – leading her deal to face a second historic defeat

In a letter to Parliamentary authorities Mr Cox claimed that his decision to rent out his Battersea flat was “brought on” by his appointment as Attorney General.”

The Attorney General then apologised for only declaring the rent on the flat on January 15.

In a letter to Parliamentary Standards commissioner Kathryn Stone he said: “This declaration related to a one-off change in my registrable interests brought on by my appointment to the Government on 9 July 2018.

“I omitted to make this declaration within 28 days due to an oversight.

“As soon as I realised the error, I caused the interest to be registered and wrote to the Registrar, in a letter dated 16 January, to apologise for the time that had elapsed.

“I should have made this declaration promptly and very much regret not having done so.”

The exact amount of rent earned by Mr Cox isn’t public – but the flat is reportedly worth £1.5million, and is similar properties command at least £1500 a month in London’s heated rental market.

Ms Stone said it was the second time Mr Cox had breached Commons’ rules in three years.

She wrote: “This is not the first time you have made a late registration and, while the circumstances are different on this occasion, it is another oversight on your part which has resulted in a breach of the House’s rules.”

He previously failed to declare more than £400,000 of outside income within time limits and was given a slap on the wrist by the watchdog he used to chair.

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