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Hoon court challenge fails

Sleaze minister falls short at European Court of Human Rights

DISGRACED former minister Geoff Hoon failed yesterday in his European court challenge over a parliamentary sleaze report.

The ex-Labour MP had his Commons pass revoked four years ago by the Standards and Privileges Committee, which said he had brought the House into disrepute after a newspaper recorded him offering to use his influence in return for money.

Mr Hoon, who was defence and transport secretary from 1999-2005, reacted by lodging a complaint at the European Court of Human Rights saying the investigation had been unfair.

He argued there was no opportunity to challenge the finding in domestic courts, and that publication of the report undermined his right to "respect for family and private life" under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

But the court ruled that the proceedings "did not attract the application of the right to a fair trial because they did not determine or give rise to a dispute as the applicant's civil rights."

It also found that there was a "legitimate public interest."

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