Ministerial Code

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:19 pm on 15th November 2005.

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Photo of Jim Murphy Jim Murphy Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Cabinet Office) 8:19 pm, 15th November 2005

No, it has not. The ministerial code was first published in 1997, and the hon. Gentleman will have an opportunity to discuss that matter. [Interruption.] He is contradicting his own intervention from a sedentary position. What was published in 1992 was not a ministerial code—it was called something entirely different—and it was reformed, reviewed and extended to make it much more powerful. He is making the winding-up speech for the Opposition, so he should not contradict his own intervention.

We were the first to publish a ministerial code and a list of gifts worth more than £140 that are given to Ministers, and we were also the first to publish a code of conduct for special advisers and the number, cost and names of special advisers, none of which happened before. On openness in Parliament, the Prime Minister was the first to appear before the all-party Liaison Committee, which was previously unheard of, and opportunities for pre-legislative scrutiny have also increased.

On public openness, we have the long-campaigned-for Freedom of Information Act 2000, which was long opposed by other parties.