Friday, September 29, 2017

Johnson has clearly broken Ministerial Code



Lib Dem Brexit Spokesman Tom Brake has written to the Prime Minister, calling on her to investigate whether Boris Johnson has broken the Ministerial Code.

Following on from Johnson's reprimand from the head of the UK Statistics Authority due to his repeated peddling of the discredited £350 million a week for the NHS figure, Tom Brake has called for the PM to investigate whether Boris has breached the Ministerial Code on three fronts 
  • Breaching collective responsibility by openly criticising the government.
  • A conflict of duty between his public duty as Foreign Secretary and senior Cabinet member and his private interests campaigning for the leadership of the Conservative party and promoting a hard Brexit
  • Contributing to a newspaper, without observing the principle of collective Ministerial responsibility.
Boris Johnson has also repeatedly broken the sixth principle of the Seven Principles of Public Life, which requires holders of public office to be honest, notably in relation to his claim that £350 million per week will be available to the NHS post-Brexit.

Commenting, Tom Brake MP said:

"It is time the Prime Minister called time on Johnson's antics and gave him the sack.

"He has repeatedly been dishonest to the British public, and has flouted both the spirit and the letter of the Ministerial Code, time and again.

"It is an affront to the office of Foreign Secretary for the role to be used as little more than a platform for the office holder's leadership ambitions. And it is an insult to the British people for their foreign secretary to be peddling mistruths to them on the biggest foreign policy issue of the day, Brexit."


The text of Tom's letter to the Prime Minister is below:

Dear Prime Minister

Infringements of Ministerial Code by Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson

I am writing to urge you to investigate whether a number of actions and statements by the current Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, have broken the Ministerial Code.

As you will be aware, the Seven Principles of Public life are selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, and leadership. Ministers are expected to observe these in addition to the Ministerial Code.

Boris Johnson has repeatedly broken the sixth principle which requires holders of public office to be honest, notably in relation to his claim that £350 million per week will be available to the NHS post-Brexit.

The Foreign Secretary has also repeatedly broken the Ministerial code, most recently in his article to the Daily Telegraph and subsequent comments regarding the transition period.  His breaches have included, but are not limited to:
  • 1.2 (a) breaching collective responsibility by openly criticising the government.
  • 7.1 failing to recognise that a conflict arises, between his public duty as Foreign Secretary and senior Cabinet member and his private interests campaigning for the leadership of the Conservative party and promoting a hard Brexit
  • 8.6 contributing to a newspaper, without observing the principle of collective Ministerial responsibility.
The Ministerial code sets out the standards of behaviour expected from all those who serve in Government. It is clear that Boris Johnson has broken both the spirit and the letter, time and again.

Please urgently investigate these infractions.

I look forward to your response.
Yours sincerely,

Tom Brake MP 
Shadow Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the European Union
Cc Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet Secretary

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