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

The noble Lord asks why the register is not updated on a monthly basis in the same way as the register of interests that applies in our House and in the other place. It is important to understand that they are different. The list published by the independent adviser is a list: it is published every six months as the public endpoint of an ongoing process. Ministers’ interests are declared on appointment and on an ongoing basis to Permanent Secretaries, and are reviewed by the independent adviser. Any changes have to be notified in real time but, because of the nature of ministerial office, the number of new interests is normally fairly small at any point in time, so it makes sense to publish a new list every six months. There was a delay because of changes in government, which the noble Lord will be well aware of.

I started life as a civil servant and I have worked as a Minister with many brilliant civil servants, a view I know is shared by my colleagues. I believe in an independent Civil Service, and its fearless and impartial advice is vital to this country.