List of Ministers’ Interests and Ministerial Code - Commons Urgent Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:35 pm on 25 April 2023.

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Photo of Baroness Neville-Rolfe Baroness Neville-Rolfe Minister of State (Cabinet Office) 3:35, 25 April 2023

I do not think we should make the change that the noble Baroness suggests. I draw the House’s attention to the fact that the terms of reference for the role of the independent adviser were strengthened in May 2022 when the noble Lord, Lord Geidt, was in the post. The changes made expanded the powers of the independent adviser, in particular giving the office holder the ability to initiate investigations. Where the independent adviser considers that an alleged breach of the Ministerial Code warrants further investigation and that has not already been referred to him, he may initiate an investigation. Before doing so, he will consult the Prime Minister, who will normally give his consent.

I am very pleased that we now have the independent adviser and, for completeness, I should revert to one or two of the points made in response to this Question when it was asked yesterday in the other place. The list of Ministers’ interests was published by the independent adviser on Ministers’ interests on 19 April. The list is not exhaustive but is designed to be read in conjunction with the register of interests in this House, which we all complete. I am very happy to answer further questions in relation to the list of Ministers’ interests, which has now been published in relation to all 120 Ministers.