Ministerial Code

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:35 pm on 26th April 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 3:35 pm, 26th April 2021

The right hon. Gentleman is always a skilled and gifted rhetorician, but as I pointed out in response to his colleague, Alison Thewliss, if we look at PPE, we see that the processes by which it has been procured by this Government have been independently validated and assured by officials, with an eight-step process to ensure that contracts were awarded only to those who could provide the right equipment. There is no variance in the approach that this Government took and the approach that the Scottish Government or Welsh Government took in the procurement of PPE.

The right hon. Gentleman talks about a Tory fondness for oligarchs, and refers to text messages and so on. I can only point out that our mutual friend the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism dined with Mr Lex Greensill and Mr Gupta in one of Glasgow’s finest restaurants. If there is a particular fondness for dining with oligarchs, it is not the preserve of any one individual or party in this House.

As for suggesting that the ministerial code is something to be got round or overlooked and suggesting that propriety might need to be looked at, I would simply refer the right hon. Gentleman to the report of the independent Committee of the Scottish Parliament on the investigation into the former First Minister. If people want to see a story of obstruction, obfuscation, prevarication and a waste of taxpayers’ money, they can find it there.