SOUTH Somerset’s MP has been forced to stand up in parliament and apologise after an investigation into his businesses.

As well as finding Marcus Fysh had broken parliamentary rules, the committee on standards slammed him for being ‘patronising’ towards the commissioner.

The investigation was launched after a Private Eye article in September 2018, claimed that Mr Fysh’s register of financial interests entry was incorrect.

Mr Fysh did not register changes to three companies - London Wessex Ltd, Wessex Investments Proprietary Ltd and London Wessex Brands Ltd - within 28 days.

But the committee also discovered Mr Fysh held unpaid directorships at five companies within the Wessex Investments Group.

None of these five positions were in his declared interests.

The committee’s report said: “Mr Fysh has acknowledged he should have updated his Register entry when changes were made to the companies... and he breached the code when he did not do so.

“He has apologised to the committee. We do not believe that Mr Fysh has acted in bad faith.

“Mr Fysh’s deprecatory and, at points, patronising tone towards the Commissioner and the Registrar was unacceptable, as were his unfounded questions about their objectivity.

“There were unnecessary delays to the inquiry because Mr Fysh did not respond to requests in a timely manner.”

Standing in parliament, Mr Fysh said: “Following a report by the Committee on Standards, I would like to to apologise to the House for not registering and not declaring unremunerated directorships of companies in my wholly owned investment group Samfire Proprietary Ltd - namely of that company, of Alibante Developments Ltd, of Makoonor Holdings Ltd and of West Sea Investments Ltd; and for my late updating of the register for company name changes in 2018.

“The financial interests in ownership were registered and declared, and there was no conflict of interest.

“My judgment was that, as unremunerated directorships did not have any bearing on my work as a Member of this House and could not, in my view, reasonably be thought to do so, it was not required that I should declare them.

“I apologise to the House for this situation, which was born of a misunderstanding about what is required, and I will update my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests accordingly.

“The Committee’s report also asked me to apologise to the Commissioner and the Registrar of Members’ Financial Interests, and I will write and agree the text of that apology in advance with the Chair of the Committee.”