IT HAS been reported that health secretary Jeremy Hunt received a “bulk discount” on seven flats in Southampton bought from a Conservative donor.

Parliament's Standards Commissioner has opened an inquiry into Mr Hunt's failure to declare an investment in luxury flats for rent at Ocean Village.

Yesterday the Guardian reported that the flats were in Alexandra Wharf, built by Nicolas James Group, a south coast property firm owned and chaired by businessman and Conservative donor Nicolas James Roach.

Neither Mr Hunt nor Mr Roach have revealed how much the flats were sold flats but the Guardian said "a source close to the health secretary said he had received a 'bulk discount' for buying multiple apartments".

A spokesperson for Hunt said: “The owner of the development is a long-standing acquaintance.

Mr Hunt has already apologised for failing to declare a business interest with both Companies House and the parliamentary register of MPs' interests.

But Commissioner Kathryn Stone will now carry out an investigation into whether he breached a provision in the House of Commons code of conduct which requires MPs to "fulfil conscientiously the requirements of the House in respect of the registration of interests".

The Daily Telegraph reported that Mr Hunt failed to register a 50 per cent interest in seven properties being developed in Southampton within the 28-day time limit.

He said the omissions were the results of "honest administrative mistakes" and that he did not gain financially as a result. But Labour said his actions represented a serious breach and referred him to Ms Stone.

A Downing Street spokesman last week said the Prime Minister regarded the matter as closed.