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

Nothing could be further from my mind than questioning the integrity and professionalism of those individuals. The Government and the Prime Minister have made it clear that we do not rule out the possibility of asking individuals outside the Government to conduct an investigation into allegations of ministerial misconduct. We have been judged on our actions and, when necessary, external inquiries have taken place.

For example, in 2001, Sir Anthony Hammond QC was asked to conduct an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the naturalisation of Mr. Hinduja. Of course, Sir Anthony Hammond is standing counsel to the General Synod of the Church of England and, as I said, Sir Alan Budd, who was a member of the Monetary Policy Committee from 1997 to 1999, undertook another inquiry in 2004. We have the flexibility to enable external investigation of serious allegations to take place when the Prime Minister believes that it is merited. That method has been tried and tested.