Tag Archives: ministerial code

Wendy Chamberlain slams PM’s “appalling attempt to rig the rules”

You would think, wouldn’t you, that when the culture of your Government has been slammed in a report which outlined disgraceful behaviour, you would be absolutely mortified and would make sure that your actions showed that you were truly sorry. Especially when you had been saying so at length and you knew that nobody believed a word of your apology.

Well, you could think that of virtually any other PM than Boris Johnson. But the current incumbent’s capacity for brazen disregard for rules or accountability is second to none. We saw this when he tried to change the rules to save his mate Owen Paterson last Autumn.

Yesterday, Boris Johnson watered down both the Ministerial Code and the role of the so-called “Independent Adviser.” The Guardian reports:

The prime minister faced a barrage of criticism after he amended the rules on Friday to make clear that ministers will not always be expected to resign for breaching the code of conduct. Under new sanctions, they could apologise or temporarily lose their pay instead.

Johnson also blocked his independent ethics chief, Christopher Geidt, from gaining the power to launch his own investigations, and rewrote the foreword to the ministerial code, removing all references to honesty, integrity, transparency and accountability.

Our Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain is reported as saying that this was an:

appalling attempt by Boris Johnson to rig the rules to get himself off the hook.

It seems the Conservatives have learned nothing from the Owen Paterson scandal.

It has been clear for some time that the Government doesn’t care that accountability and justice are seen to be done where its own behaviour is concerned. With these moves they are effectively giving themselves the right to mark their own homework. The legitimacy of any Government depends on having some sort of check on its power.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 3 Comments

Adrian Sanders MP writes: Hunt vote – we need to save our energy for the battles that really matter

The vote in the Commons today is the latest highlight of the long running Phone hacking-BSkyB-Leveson saga.  It has been billed as an explosive vote that will tear the coalition asunder.  The Parliamentary party has unanimously decided to abstain, a position I strongly support for very good reasons.  We may well see traditional anti-Lib Dem rent-a-quotes like Peter Bone slamming us for betrayal but this is almost certainly a sign that we are doing the right thing.  Indeed, given our rather shaky performance in how we conduct Government to date, this is a refreshing sign that we might be back …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 49 Comments
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