This is the sort of thing which brings Unite into disrepute, courtesy of the Daily Mail:
Harman's MP husband forced to apologise after failing to declare £60,000 in payments from Unite unionBy Jason Groves
Shamed: Jack Dromey (pictured with wife Harriet Harman) breached Commons rules for failing to declare payments totaling almost £60,000
Mr Dromey, 63, is Ed Miliband’s shadow housing minister and served for years as Labour’s treasurer, as well as holding a string of senior positions during a 32-year career in the trade union movement. But Mr Dromey was let off with a slap on the wrist after a committee of MPs ruled he was a ‘new and inexperienced MP’.
After his election in May 2010, Mr Dromey said he was resigning as Unite’s deputy general secretary and had ‘declined my salary in the meantime’. In fact, he continued to work for the union part time, charging up to £200 an hour for several months.
Mr Dromey was paid more than £28,000 in wages until he finally stopped working for the union in October 2010. The following month he was also given a £30,000 pay-off. He also had the use of a union-funded car, which he bought at a discount
on leaving. But despite strict rules on the declaration of outside income, none of these payments was made public until October the following year.
Embarrassment: Mrs Harman, Labour's deputy leader, will have caused party leader Miliband, right, unnecessary distress
The Commons Standards and Privileges Committee said yesterday it would accept Mr Dromey’s written apology but suggested it would have demanded a tougher penalty had he not been ‘a new and inexperienced MP at the time’.
The ruling raised eyebrows yesterday at Westminster, where Mr Dromey is widely viewed as a seasoned operator.
He told a sleaze inquiry into the affair that he had genuinely intended not to accept any more payments from Unite after being elected – and even went so far as to send back a salary cheque.
But he said the union had then asked him to carry out some work on a sensitive ‘internal matter’.
He claimed he never got round to registering the payments because he was ‘extremely busy’. But he admitted he had ‘no explanation’ for why he had failed to check his entry in the register of MPs’ interests for almost a year.
Yesterday Mr Dromey made a brief apology in the Commons. He said the failure to register the payments had been ‘unintentional’.
He added: ‘Notwithstanding that the commissioner and the committee noted that the breaches were unintentional, I want to apologise unreservedly to the House and I will in future fully abide by the rules of the House.’
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, who complained to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards about Mr Dromey’s failure to register union payments, said: ‘It is right that Jack Dromey’s serious misconduct has been investigated and condemned.
‘Ed Miliband can talk all he likes about taking on the unions, but unless he publicly reprimands his shadow minister’s misconduct, people will see him for what he is – weak and in the pockets of his union paymasters.’
Also available in the Guardian