Standards in Public Life — 7 Jun 2022 at 15:47

That this House recognises the importance of the Ministerial Code for maintaining high standards in public life; endorses the Committee on Standards in Public Life report entitled Upholding Standards in Public Life, Final report of the Standards Matter 2 review; calls on the Government to implement all of the report’s recommendations as a matter of urgency; and further calls on the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to make a statement to the House on the progress made in implementing the recommendations by 20 July 2022, and each year subsequently.
“part of a mutually dependent package of reforms, designed to be taken together”.
“I have attempted to avoid the Independent Adviser”-
“offering advice to a Prime Minister about a Prime Minister’s obligations under his own Ministerial Code. If a Prime Minister’s judgement is that there is nothing to investigate or no case to answer, he would be bound to reject any such advice, thus forcing the resignation of the Independent Adviser”-
“Such a circular process could only risk placing the Ministerial Code in a place of ridicule.”
“The lack of any meaningful sanctions for a breach of the rules is no longer sustainable.”
“The Committee will never be redundant. A minority will evade or misinterpret the rules of proper behaviour. The rules will always need regular updating to meet changing expectations in many areas”.
“will not restore public trust in ethical standards at the heart of government. Instead, suspicion about the way in which the Ministerial Code is administered will linger”.
“calls on the Government to implement all of the report’s recommendations”
“as a matter of urgency”.
“No other area of public life has such a binary system of sanctions, and in both Parliament and the Civil Service there are a range of sanctions available according to the seriousness of the offence. There is no reason why this should not be the case for ministers.”
“It is of paramount importance that Ministers give accurate and truthful information to Parliament, correcting any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity.”
“Ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the Prime Minister”-
“represents an improvement in the process for regulating the Code, which we welcome.”
“to make a statement to the House on the progress made in implementing the recommendations”
“The Independent Adviser should be able to initiate investigations, determine findings of breaches, and a summary of their findings should be published in a timely manner.”
“I apologised when the revelations emerged, and I continue to apologise. I repeat that I am humbled by what has happened”-[Official Report, 25 May 2022; Vol. 715, c. 299.]
“When a government asserts that the laws do not apply to it-that assertion offends not only the law itself, but our very idea of constitutional government.”
“There still needs to be greater independence in the regulation of the Ministerial Code, notwithstanding”-
“The new process for initiating investigations does not create the degree of independence we called for. Whereas previously the Adviser could only conduct an investigation into an alleged breach of the Code at the Prime Minister’s request, the Adviser can now initiate their own investigations ‘having consulted the Prime Minister and obtained his consent’. So no longer a direct commission by the Prime Minister, but still dependent on the Prime Minister’s permission. This is a step forward, it is an improvement”-
“in process but it does not fundamentally change the powers of the Independent Adviser.”
“matters more than the health of our democracy.”
“What I can tell the right hon. and learned Gentleman is that all guidance was followed completely in No. 10.”-[Official Report, 1 December 2021; Vol. 704, c. 909.]
“May I begin by saying that I understand and share the anger up and down the country at seeing No. 10 staff seeming to make light of lockdown measures? I can understand how infuriating it must be to think that the people who have been setting the rules have not been following the rules, because I was also furious to see that clip.”-[Official Report, 8 December 2021; Vol. 705, c. 372.]
“The circumstances of the period covered by my report, however, have been far from normal. For much of the year, the conduct of the Prime Minister himself has potentially been subject to consideration against the requirements of the Code. Accordingly, and whether unfairly or not, an impression has developed that the Prime Minister may be unwilling to have his own conduct judged against the Code’s obligations.”
“test for the credibility of these new arrangements”.
“It may be especially difficult to inspire that trust in the Ministerial Code if any Prime Minister, whose code it is, declines to refer to it.”
“respond accordingly, setting out his case in public”
“might have constituted a breach of the overarching duty within the Ministerial Code”.
“events should not have been allowed to happen”
“senior leadership at the centre, both political and official”
“must bear responsibility for this culture.”
“The only fair conclusion to draw from the Sue Gray report is that you have breached a fundamental principle of the ministerial code – a clear resigning matter.
Butt your letter to your independent adviser on the ministerial code ignores this absolutely central, non-negotiable issue completely. And, if it had addressed it, it is hard to see how it could have reached any other conclusion than that you had broken the code.”
“The Ministerial Code should detail a range of sanctions the Prime Minister may issue, including, but not limited to, apologies, fines, and asking for a minister’s resignation.”
“ The Independent Adviser should be able to initiate investigations into breaches of the Ministerial Code”
“The Independent Adviser should have the authority to determine breaches of the Ministerial Code.”
“Ministers of the Crown are expected to maintain high standards of behaviour and to behave in a way that upholds the highest standards of propriety.”
“failures of leadership and judgement in No 10 and the Cabinet Office”,
“elements of a presidential system of government that is entirely foreign to our constitution and law.”
“When a government asserts that the laws do not apply to it…such an assertion offends not only the law itself but our very idea of constitutional government.”
“I can’t express my anger and disappointment that Mr Johnson thinks it’s acceptable to make up excuses the way he…has done. I no longer have faith… Please pass my story on to whoever that would want to hear it. As I also am raising awareness about listeria meningitis because it’s a strand that is not known much about… Let’s get a Prime Minister in that would treat us as equals. And not feel the need to lie to us. I watch everything, and it doesn’t sit well when we all know his apologies are worth nothing.”
“At a time when I was forced to go into labour…with my son on my own without a birthing partner, Boris Johnson and his colleagues thought it was an appropriate time to host a party going against all rules they had set themselves. A few days after I gave birth, my closest Uncle passed away and not only were we unable to attend his funeral, his immediate family were not allowed to see him one last time and had to part ways with him all on their own with not a single shoulder to cry on.”
“Erosion of standards does affect public trust in the democratic process”.
“The public have a firm belief that ethical standards are integral to democracy itself, and that politicians have a fundamental duty to the public to abide by ethical codes and rules. However, the public lack confidence that MPs and ministers abide by such standards, and see some politicians as possessing neither the core values expected from leaders in public life, nor matching up to the higher ethical standards displayed by other respected public sector leaders, such as judges, doctors and teachers.”
“That’s a resigning matter for me, and it should be for the PM too.”

Debate in Parliament |

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (Aye)Minority (No)BothTurnout
Alba1 0050.0%
Alliance1 00100.0%
Con0 000.0%
Green1 00100.0%
Independent1 0020.0%
Lab165 (+2 tell) 0 (+2 tell)084.5%
LDem11 0084.6%
PC3 00100.0%
SDLP2 00100.0%
SNP29 0064.4%
Total:214 0034.5%

Rebel Voters - sorted by vote

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

Lilian GreenwoodNottingham SouthLab (minister)tellno
Mark TamiAlyn and DeesideLab (minister)tellno

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