A British MP with financial interests in a company that sells insurance to pay for care tried to change the law to help companies that sell insurance to pay for care.

Writing in the Daily Mail that week, the Yeovil MP urged the government to “rebate any currently proposed extra levies” for people who signed up to insurance and savings schemes.

In the debate on the levy, Fysh did not draw his fellow MPs’ attention to his register of interests, which shows that he has a financial stake in a multinational insurance giant, AIA Group, a growing company providing health, care and life insurance across Asia and Australasia.

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Alistair Graham, former chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, told openDemocracy that Fysh’s actions were “quite wrong” and, in his view, a breach of the parliamentary code of conduct.

Graham said: “The rules of procedure would clearly require him to explain what his interest is in the matter, so, yes, I think that would be a breach of the code. Particularly where he’s seeking with an amendment to influence the policy of the government, then he’s duty-bound to declare any interest he has in the matter.”

Graham acknowledged that AIA does not currently operate in the UK, but added: “They might in the future, mightn’t they, and presumably all this questioning is that he anticipates that they will and he’ll make a big shot of money when they do that.”

Fysh was rapped by the parliamentary standards watchdog last year for breaking the rules on declarations of interest, and for displaying a “patronising” attitude to the watchdog during their investigation.

Fysh’s amendment attracted support from fellow Tory right-wingers unhappy about the levy, which will come from a manifesto-breaking rise in National Insurance to help fund health and social care.

He has acknowledged that he has also informally lobbied the government to accept his ideas, telling talkRadio TV host Julia Hartley-Brewer: “I have been trying to persuade the chancellor and others for some time now that an insurance-based scheme is the best way to approach this, in a similar way to the way that the Australians deal with a supplement to their basic state healthcare provision.”

He added: “Although I wouldn’t recommend it for healthcare here, obviously, but I think for social care, what they do in Australia is that if you don’t have insurance by a certain age then you pay an extra percentage point on tax, and that’s a way of incentivising people.”

Prime minister Boris Johnson also said that he read Fysh sharing his thoughts on funding social care on WhatsApp groups.

Fysh’s proposed amendment – which he withdrew at the request of the government – applied to both health and social care funding. Echoing his remarks to Harley-Brewer, though, he told MPs in the debate that he was “thinking about this measure only in terms of social care costs and liabilities”.

According to his entry in the most recent register of MPs’ interests, Fysh has a “beneficial interest” in AIA Group Ltd. AIA provides a range of health, care and life insurance, and retirement investments across Asia and the Pacific, from Australia to the Middle East. For those concerned about needing care in later life, it has recently started to offer insurance that covers dementia – one of the key reasons for social care costs – in some countries, including Hong Kong and Singapore.

The company does not operate in the UK, although it sponsors Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, saying its intention is to “associat[e] the AIA brand with healthy lifestyles and… sport”.