Former North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson is taking the Government to the European Court of Human Rights over a ruling by Parliament’s standards watchdog that he broke lobbying rules.

The ardent Eurosceptic, who resigned from Parliament last year after an investigation found he had broken lobbying rules, is arguing that his right to privacy was breached.

The court said in a summary of the case: “The applicant complains that his Article 8 rights were infringed, as the public finding that he had breached the Code of Conduct damaged his good reputation, and that the process by which the allegations against him were investigated and considered was not fair in many basic respects.”

Legal commentator Joshua Rozenberg tweeted that the case has been “communicated” to the Government by the court, giving the Government an opportunity to respond.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone last year found the former Tory Cabinet minister breached the Commons code of conduct by lobbying ministers and officials for two companies paying him more than £100,000 per year.


The Commons Standards Committee said his actions were an “egregious” breach of the rules on paid advocacy by MPs and recommended that he should be suspended for 30 sitting days.

In early November 2021, then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried to change the rules to prevent Mr Paterson’s suspension, before being forced to U-turn just 24 hours later in the face of public anger.

The sleaze scandal surrounding the case was one in a series of controversies which engulfed Mr Johnson’s Government and ultimately led to his downfall.

Mr Paterson, an arch Brexiteer, in 2014 argued in a speech that the UK should not just quit the EU but to replace the European Convention on Human Rights, on which the European Court of Human Rights adjudicates.