The federal government is investigating claims that residents of a British mansion were misled about the number of house agents they had been hired to provide security at their properties, a House of Commons committee said on Wednesday.
The House of Representatives Home Affairs Committee has requested an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General into claims that people in the Bury St Edmunds estate, in the south-west of England, were “unaware of the fact that the number and nature of house security agents was subject to the home’s own decisions”.
It also asked the OIG to look into whether there had been any oversight by the Ministry of Defence in the case.
“The Government has not responded to the committee’s questions or made any statement to the Committee,” a spokesperson for the Home Affairs Select Committee told The Times.
“We are continuing to pursue this matter with the Department of Defence, who has provided us with no comment at this time.”
The claim comes after a Guardian investigation revealed that the Borys Neck estate was being used by members of the British army to provide protection to the members of British parliament.
In a statement to The Times, a spokesperson said: “The Home Affairs committee’s inquiry is an independent enquiry into allegations that members of Parliament and members of their families may have been misled by Home Office officials regarding the number, nature and frequency of house-security officers they were being paid to provide.”
“It also examines whether there was any oversight from the Ministry and Defence by the Department for Defence.”
The spokesperson said the committee was seeking further information about the circumstances surrounding the use of the Boyds Neck estate by the British Army, including how much money the government was receiving from it.
“There is no suggestion that there has been any breach of the Conflict of Interest Act or any other statutory or regulatory requirement,” the spokesperson added.
“All of the evidence we have seen points to the Government providing this support to the parliamentarians in question and they are not seeking compensation.”
The committee also requested that a written report on the investigation be published within 90 days.
A spokesperson for Home Secretary Amber Rudd told the Guardian: “Any allegation of any breach by the government of any of the requirements set out in the Conflict Of Interest Act must be made in writing to the OIA.”
“The OIA is working with the Home Office to ensure that the full scope of the OIAs inquiry is fully understood and that the OIE and the House of Lords have access to the information,” the spokesman added.
The OIG is currently investigating claims made by the Bishaw Estate in south-east England that its security staff were being used for the protection of the Conservative MP Jo Cox and other MPs.
Bishaw has said the home was set up in response to the deaths of its owners and their relatives.