Tory Minister warned after failing to declare thousands of pounds in rent

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox was forced to apologise after he failed to declare thousands of pounds in rent on his London flat.

Mr Cox admitted failing to register the income in a letter to Parliamentary authorities.

The senior Tory minister was once the highest paid MP when he earned £800,000 in a single year for his work as a criminal barrister – but he still claimed 49p in expenses to pay for a pint of milk.

Mr Cox admitted that he failed to register rent from tenants on his Battersea flat for six months between August and January this year, according to reports in the Sunday Telegraph .

It comes after the Attorney General doomed Theresa May’s desperate bid to get her Brexit withdrawal deal over the line last Tuesday.

Mr Cox told MPs that the legal position on the UK being able to leave the Irish backstop "remains unchanged" – leading her deal to face a second historic defeat

In a letter to Parliamentary authorities Mr Cox claimed  that his decision to rent out his Battersea flat was "brought on" by his appointment as Attorney General."

The Attorney General then apologised for only declaring the rent on the flat on January 15.

In a letter to Parliamentary Standards commissioner Kathryn Stone he said: "This declaration related to a one-off change in my registrable interests  brought on by my appointment to the Government on 9 July 2018.

"I omitted to make this declaration within 28 days due to an oversight.

"As soon as I realised the error, I caused the interest to be registered and wrote to the Registrar, in a letter dated 16 January, to apologise for the time that had elapsed.

"I should have made this declaration promptly and very much regret not having done so."

The exact amount of rent earned by Mr Cox isn’t public – but the flat is reportedly worth £1.5million, and is similar properties command at least £1500 a month in London’s heated rental market.

Ms Stone said it was the second time Mr Cox had breached Commons’ rules in three years.

She wrote: "This is not the first time you have made a late registration and, while the circumstances are different on this occasion, it is another oversight on your part which has resulted in a breach of the House’s rules."

He previously failed to declare more than £400,000 of outside income within time limits and was given a slap on the wrist by the  watchdog he used to chair.

A report by Parliament’s Standards Commissioner branded his slip-up a "serious breach of the House’s rules."

In 2015 he submitted  four separate claims for 49p bottles of milk, all of which were refused by the MPs expenses watchdog.

The MP also made claims for £95 for a fridge, because he needed somewhere to keep his milk.

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