BARNSLEY’S only Conservative MP Miriam Cates has been cleared of breaching lockdown rules by the Parliamentary standards watchdog.

Mrs Cates, who represents the Penistone and Stocksbridge constituency, was accused of attending a birthday drinks event during lockdown on December 8, 2020.

Complaints were made against Mrs Cates and deputy speaker Dame Eleanor Lang - as well as Tory backbenchers Sir Bernard Jenkin and Virginia Crosbie.

However, in a report by the Parliamentary standards commissioner Daniel Greenberg the complaints were not upheld.

It was confirmed that they did not behave in a way that could seriously damage the reputation of the House or MPs generally, and therefore did not breach rules for MPs.

He said: “Had this been entirely a business meeting, it would have been clearly in accordance with all restrictions and would have been reputationally unobjectionable.

“Had it been entirely social, it would have been clearly in disregard of the restrictions at the time.

“On the basis of the evidence, I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the event included both business and social elements.”

The Metropolitan Police said in December that they were ending their investigation into the gathering, with no individuals receiving a penalty.

“Wine (probably not exceeding two bottles) and ‘nibbles’ were available at the event,” the commissioner said.

There was no birthday cake as some reports had suggested.

Miriam told the Chronicle: ““I am pleased that the investigation has been closed.

“As I was confident would be the case, no complaints were upheld and the matter has been dismissed.”