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. Ministers are accountable to this place, to the Prime Minister and in all sorts of other ways. Accountability has improved in recent years, and people recognise that improvement.

Before Conservative Members start to think that the ministerial code is a development for which they can take credit, I should point out that a template for questions of procedures for Ministers was originally drafted in 1917 by the first secretary to the Cabinet, Sir Maurice Hankey. Directives on procedures for Cabinet government issued by the Prime Minister during the second world war were drawn up into a single document by a gentleman called Clement Attlee and issued to all incoming Ministers in 1945 on a confidential basis.