Sir Bob Neill MP breached the MPs' code of conduct by failing to declare a conflict of interest after he backed a luxury hotel development secured by a firm he chairs.

The Bromley and Chislehurst MP failed to inform the chief planning officer of Bromley Council of his conflict of interest regarding the restoration of the Royal Bell, a town landmark which fell into disrepair having been left vacant for years.

Parliament's watchdog has now published its report, which upheld the allegation against Sir Bob, concluding that the interest "met the test of relevance" and "should have been declared."

An investigation by blogger Dr Alex May revealed that Mr Neill is chairman of the Substantia Group, a property and business consultancy firm through which the developer, Hillman & Sons, acquired the property.

The developer planned to turn the building into a luxury five star hotel.

Mr Neill published a letter in favour of Hillman and Sons' project when the planning consultation was ongoing, stating that "the current proposals under consideration offer a realistic, financially sustainable plan for the site, returning the building to its historic use."

MPs are required to draw clear attention to a financial interest on almost any occasion when someone else might consider it to influence what they say or do. 

While Sir Bob, a former planning minister, did register his role with Substantia in 2016, which earns him £1,000 per month for six hours of his time, he did not mention it when publicly backing the project.

The Commissioner for Standards concluded that had readers of the letter been aware of Sir Bob's interest in Substantia, they could reasonably have thought it would influence his support for the project. 

But the report also stated that no evidence had been found to suggest Sir Bob had breached rules surrounding paid advocacy in relation to the case.

The report said Sir Bob accepted the decision, acknowledged his breaches of the rules and apologised.

Sir Bob is said to have committed to consult with the Registrar of Members' Financial Interests on any future cases of doubt concerning rules of conduct and their interpretation. 

No further action will be taken against the MP.