Tim Yeo, the UK Conservative chair of the Energy and Climate Change select committee (ECCC), has opted to temporarily step down from his role while claims he used his role to help a businessman influence parliament are investigated.

The MP said he has taken the decision to “ensure the smooth running of the committee during the next few weeks”.
Tim Yeo
In a statement, Yeo said: “I do not wish the [Parliamentary Standards] Commissioner’s investigation to be a distraction from the Committee’s important work.”

“I firmly believe that I have not breached the MPs Code of Conduct in any respect and therefore await the outcome of the Commissioner’s investigation with confidence.”

“In particular I absolutely and unreservedly deny the allegation that I coached a witness with whom I have a business connection before that person gave evidence to the Committee.”

The allegations arose after video footage obtained by a national newspaper purport to show that Yeo allegedly used his position to coach John Smith, the managing director of GB Rail Freight – a firm owned by Eurotunnel, which also pays the MP for being a non-executive director – on how to influence politicians.

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