Again, our prime minister uses shamelessly manipulative tactics. As a member until December last year of the committee on standards for public life, I was closely involved in the research and writing of the report, Standards Matters 2, to which Boris Johnson has responded with revisions of the ministerial code.
Its recommendations were absolutely not designed to water down standards, but intended to develop a balanced approach to accountability with appropriate sanctions — including retaining resignation for the most serious breaches, such as misleading parliament.
This prime minister is abusing the ministerial code which is (and should be) owned by him. His redrafting demotes the seven principles of public life, indicating a choice to ignore the fundamentals of parliamentary accountability, which he of course understands.
I conclude that he is avoiding accountability through all conventional channels. Surely Conservative MPs cannot ignore this any longer.
30 May 2022 – Jane Martin, Member of the committee for standards in public life, 2016 to 2021