Pressure is growing on housing minister Grant Shapps to fully explain his role in a company which sells a ‘get rich quick’ software package designed to illicitly manipulate Google search rankings, along with a dodgy self-help guide to “Bouncing back from recession”.
Shapps removed How To Co Ltd from his entry on the Register of Members’ Interests in 2008 when he transferred his shares to, erm, his wife Belinda. Under the ministerial code, Belinda Shapps should have declared her shareholding in the company when her husband was appointed housing minister in 2010:
7.3 On appointment to each new office, Ministers must provide their Permanent Secretary with a full list in writing of all interests which might be thought to give rise to a conflict. The list should also cover interests of the Minister’s spouse or partner and close family which might be thought to give rise to a conflict.
This is precisely what Labour’s shadow team have been asking this afternoon. They also want to see whether these websites have been accessed from Shapps’ computer while he was a minister.
There’s no hiding now that parliament’s back.