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Lobby row: Tim Yeo committee replacement has £66,000 shares in Shell

The Liberal Democrat MP appointed to lead scrutiny of energy policy, bills and petrol prices has more than £66,000 of shares in Britain’s biggest oil company, according to parliamentary records.

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Sir Robert Smith, who has declared an interest in a company linked to Royal Dutch Shell, will take over as chairman of the House of Commons energy committee on a temporary basis.

The MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine has taken on the role after Tory MP Tim Yeo said he would stand aside during an investigation into allegations he was involved in lobbying.

A Sunday newspaper recorded Mr Yeo boasting that he had coached a business associate for an appearance at the energy committee. He was also filmed suggesting he could be paid to help an energy company get access to minsters.

Mr Yeo denies helping the business associate prepare to give evidence and any suggestion that he breached the MPs’ code of conduct. He also said he had made no firm committment to work for the reporters posing as lobbyists.

However, the MP referred himself to the parliamentary standards watchdog and has given up his duties on the committee while the probe is carried out.

Sir Robert, who has been a member of the energy committee since 2009, declared an interest in Shell Transport and Trading, described as an oil-integrated company, which is linked to Royal Dutch Shell. MPs only have to declare a shareholding if it is worth more than £66,396.

He has also accepted £750 of hospitality from another oil company, BP, during the Olympics. He has also been on trips to courtesy of Total, a French oil company.

His Scottish constituency is heavily dependent on the North Sea oil industry for jobs and growth.

He was unanimously elected to the role of temporary chairman by other members of the committee.

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