Ministerial Code

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:50 pm on 15th November 2005.

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Photo of David Heath David Heath Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 8:50 pm, 15th November 2005

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right, but I must be very careful not to stray from the terms of the debate.

I am trying to express the view that these issues are not compartmentalised but cumulative. If the impression is given that the main motivating factor for Ministers, civil servants or members of the legislature is the financial advantage that they may gain, we will lose something precious in our political life.

In addition, an appalling example will be set. Ministers give a direct example to senior civil servants when it comes to what is acceptable. Mention has been made already of Christopher Meyer, who made the matter plain when he said, "If it's good enough for Ministers, it's good enough for me." I think that the book betrays some absolutely inappropriate confidences, and I look forward to learning how on earth it was given clearance—