Committee on Standards and Privileges Publishes Report on a Complaint Against Dr Patrick Brown (Former MLA)

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 05 July 2024

Reference: CSP 03/23/24

The Committee on Standards and Privileges has today published its report on a complaint against the former MLA, Dr Patrick Brown, alleging that he had breached the Assembly Members’ Code of Conduct.

The complaint, which was made by the Principal and the Chair of the Board of Governors of Shimna Integrated College, was investigated by the independent Assembly Commissioner for Standards, Dr Melissa McCullough. The Committee has concurred with the Commissioner’s findings that Dr Brown: breached Rule 1 of the Code, when he conflated his own personal interest with the public interest and failed to address the conflict of interest in favour of the latter; and breached Rule 14, when he used his MLA letterhead to improperly confer an advantage for himself.

The Committee also concurred with the Commissioner’s conclusions that Dr Brown failed to observe the Principles of Conduct in respect of Selflessness and Objectivity and, in so doing, brought the Assembly into disrepute.

The Chairperson of the Committee on Standards and Privileges, Carál Ní Chuilín MLA said: “The Committee takes allegations of breaches of the Assembly’s Code of Conduct very seriously. Therefore, it was right that an independent investigation was carried out in order to establish the facts in relation to the allegations made.

“In concurring with a range of the Commissioner’s conclusions, the Committee has upheld four of the eight allegations against Dr Brown. In breaching the Code and failing to observe some of the principles of conduct, Dr Brown has brought the Assembly into disrepute.  As such, the Committee would have recommended an appropriate sanction to the Assembly had Dr Brown remained an MLA”.

The Chairperson concluded: “It is important that Members should at all times conduct themselves in a manner which will maintain and strengthen the public’s trust and confidence in the integrity of the Assembly and never undertake any action that would bring the Assembly into disrepute.”




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Northern Ireland Assembly

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Notes to Editor:

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