The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has upheld an allegation that South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay breached the Members Code of Conduct.
Kathryn Stone OBE said Mr Mackinlay had omitted to register his interest in Mama Airlines Ltd after becoming an MP.
She also found that Mr Mackinlay did not disclose his interest in the company on two occasions during parliamentary proceedings when the rules of the House required him to do so.
The complaint relates to non-disclosure of a company, Mama Airlines Ltd, and whether it was relevant to disclose during proceedings regarding the Manston airport site.
Informing the complainant of the decision, the Commissioner said Mr Mackinlay had accepted the decision and acknowledged his breach of the rules.
Mr Mackinlay has apologised for his failure to register mama Airlines Ltd and agreed to apologise to the House for for not disclosing on two occasions when it was relevant to proceedings.
The finding is due to be published on the Parliamentary Commissioner website.
Mr Mackinlay said not in his ‘wildest dreams’ did he expect the registration and declaration rules to cover a ‘dormant company’ which has never traded and has just 2 pence in assets.
He said he has asked that as part of the closure of the investigation, new rules be brought in so ‘insignificant’ companies are not treated the same as large shareholdings.
Mama Airlines Ltd was set up in 2001. Mr Mackinlay said this was due to his interest in starting a low-cost style airline. The name derived from a proposed route of Manston to Malaga but plans were ditched following the 9/11 tragedy.
Mr Mackinlay said: “A company, Mama Airlines Ltd, was incorporated in 2001 with 2 pence of share capital, owned by me. The project never ‘got off the ground’ with the events of 9/11 preventing any further progress or interest.
“The company remains in my ownership, as a dormant company with no assets whatsoever save for the 2 pence of shares. The company has never traded, has never even had a bank account, and I have never derived any remuneration or benefit from it.
“Despite its name, the dormant company is no more an airline than it is a sweet shop.
“The Parliamentary rules state that any shareholding over 15% in a company, or if that shareholding is under 15% but has a value of more than £70,000, needs to be registered as a financial interest.
“Therefore, if a member has a shareholding of under 15% in a company and it is worth £69,999, quite perversely in my view, it does not require registration.
“Not in my wildest dreams did I think, through any common-sense interpretation of the rules, that a dormant company, a mere incorporation of an idea some 17 years old would require registration.
“I have made suggestions as part of the closure of this investigation that a sensible de-minimis should be incorporated into any new rules as I am sure they were never intended to encompass such an insignificant shareholding in a company that has never traded.
“I will continue speak up for an aviation future for Manston as much as I am able, not least as, despite the passage of time, it is an industry that I understand and have, albeit historic, knowledge of.”
The company is listed as active on Companies House but accounts are also listed as being made for a dormant company for each accounting period that it has existed.