Boris Johnson should give up his right to decide when possible breaches of the ministerial code warrant an investigation, according to the chairman of the Committee on Public Life Standards.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Lord Evans argued that the power to launch an investigation into the behavior of members of the government should instead be held by the next independent adviser on ministerial interests.
It comes as questions continue to mount over contacts serving ministers have had with former Prime Minister David Cameron in connection with his lobbying on behalf of the now bankrupt finance company, Greensill Capital.
The post of independent adviser has been vacant since last November following the resignation of Sir Alex Allan.
He left the post after Mr Johnson rejected his findings in an investigation into the bullying allegations against Home Secretary Priti Patel.
In addition to giving Sir Alex’s successor powers to initiate investigations, Lord Evans recommends that they be supported by a “small secretariat independent of the Cabinet Office” and be allowed to publish summaries of their findings independently.
He also argues that while the sanction for any breach is to remain a decision of the Prime Minister, the “current expectation” that a breach should result in resignation was “disproportionate” and should only be used “where a serious breach is ‘is produced “.
Downing Street has yet to respond to the letter.
Lord Evans’ intervention comes after the Labor Party claimed that Health Secretary Matt Hancock may have broken the ministerial code by not declaring correctly …
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This notice was published: 2021-04-17 21:18:00