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Ministerial Code

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 2nd March 2020.

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Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 3:31 pm, 2nd March 2020

The hon. Lady was herself a distinguished Minister and I know how high was the regard in which she was held by her civil servants. I completely agree with her that it is vital that all of us seek to uphold the independence of the civil service. It is absolutely vital that the civil service is able to offer candid advice to Ministers. I know myself, having worked with the Home Secretary and others, that we have benefited from that candid advice in seeking to implement Government policy. However, I think it is also important to acknowledge that Sir Philip, a distinguished public servant, has indicated that he may initiate legal proceedings against the Government, so it would be inappropriate for me to say more about the particular statements he made on Saturday.