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 John Hayes John Hayes Shadow Minister (Transport) 8:19 pm, 15th November 2005

I am reluctant to criticise the Parliamentary Secretary, who is a good man with a promising career ahead. I say that in the spirit of the helpful motion tabled by the responsible and measured Opposition, who are trying to help Parliament and the Government to get through the mess. However, there is an element of complacency about the Parliamentary Secretary's response so far. Surely he recognises that there is confusion about the code, doubts about the lines of accountability, genuine uncertainty about the Prime Minister's role and a Committee on Standards in Public Life whose advice is not taken seriously. He should not be complacent. We must move on from the current position. What about the improvements that could be made? We need to hear a little more in that spirit.