UK Parliament Member Resigns As Blockchain Firm Advisor After Secret Pay Claim

News | August 2, 2018 By:

Grant Shapps, a British Conservative Party politician, has resigned from the advisory board of a blockchain company following claims that he failed to declare a “secret pay deal.”

Shapps resigned from OpenBrix, a blockchain-powered decentralized property portal, as chair of governance after it was reported that a ‘secret’ bonus scheme could see him receive a payment of up to £700,000 ($916,000 USD) for his work. Shapps, who previously claimed in public filings that he was not being paid for his work, denied any wrongdoing.

Shapps said his declaration to the parliamentary register of members’ interests was entirely above board and had been made in consultation with Commons staff. Shapps added that he registered his interest according to “the spirit and letter of the rules.” He has also resigned as co-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on blockchain.

In addition to being OpenBrix’s chair of governance, Shapps had also signed a consultancy contract with the company. As part of this contract, the British politician wrote an article about the potential of blockchain for the property market and attended an OpenBrix event.

OpenBrix founder and CEO Shahad Choudhury said that the contract signed by Shapps hadn’t required any further commitments until the the company’s initial coin offering (ICO) closes in December of this year.

“To be honest, Shapps had nothing to do until after the [ICO],” said Choudhury. “His main role was the governance role after we’ve got the money. He could have quite happily not done anything and he’d still be governance chair.”

Choudhury added that the company would have paid Shapps and four other board members a total of 8 million BRIX tokens, worth roughly $3.7 million. Shapps said he will be waiving any bonus from OpenBrix.