The chairman of the Labour Party is under investigation by the Commons authorities for using parliamentary notepaper to threaten constituents with legal action.
Ian Lavery, a senior ally of Jeremy Corbyn, told administrators of Facebook groups in his constituency that they could face legal action if they did not remove posts about him that he claimed were defamatory.
The parliamentary commissioner for standards yesterday confirmed that it was investigating whether the MP for Wansbeck had breached the code of conduct by sending the letters on official notepaper and in pre-paid parliamentary envelopes.
The use of parliamentary stationery is strictly regulated. MPs must use taxpayer-funded material only “in support of their parliamentary duties”, not for financial gain.