Conservative MP Justin Tomlinson faces a two-day suspension from the House of Commons after he was found to be in contempt of the House by the privileges committee, after he shared a draft parliamentary report with a Wonga employee.
Tomlinson, the MP for North Swindon, apologised to MPs today and blamed his actions on his "own naivety and stupidity". The Labour MP John Mann told BuzzFeed News he thought the leak was "outrageous" and accused Tomlinson of "misusing his position to the detriment of customers."
In the report, the committee concluded that he should apologise and be suspended from parliament for two days.
Tomlinson shared a draft report about credit regulation with a Wonga employee through his personal email in May 2013. The Wonga employee then responded with comments and "areas we thought the committee might want to focus on".
The email correspondence continued into 2015, where they carried on exchanging recommendations.
Last year, the Daily Mirror accused the MP of leaking the draft for financial gain, which Tomlinson has denied.
The MP said that he did not make a profit from speaking to Wonga but said it was to carry out research before he submitted his comments to the committee. The committee agreed that Tomlinson did not use the information for financial gain.
In the evidence given by the MP last week, he said: "My aim was always to protect vulnerable consumers and strengthen regulations on payday lenders. In order to ensure that my recommendations were technically possible and that my contribution to the report was valuable, I shared the draft report with employee."
Ikran is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Ikran Dahir at email@example.com.
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