I have read the report of the Standards Committee, acting on the advice of the Independent Commissioner for Standards, and my personal view of the evidence presented is that Owen Paterson breached the rules, but that the penalty proposed takes insufficient account of the mitigation available. However, I do not think it is my view that should determine the outcome in this case and I abstained on the vote to approve the Committee’s recommendations. External scrutiny of MPs’ conduct is important and the conclusions of the Independent Commissioner should be respected. I did not therefore support moves to reverse or disregard those conclusions and if reform is to be considered, it should in my view focus on diminishing, or removing altogether, the role of MPs in judging and determining sanctions on other MPs. It can also only be achieved effectively on a cross-party basis and there is clearly not such a consensus in favour of the changes proposed so far.