Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, has voted for a Labour Party Opposition Day Motion to tackle decaying standards in public life and strengthen transparency, integrity and improve accountability in our democratic institutions.
This follows the Prime Minister downgrading the rules in the wake of Sue Gray’s report when his lies to Parliament about rule-breaking at the heart of Government were finally exposed. At a time when he should have been tendering his resignation, Boris Johnson decided to rewrite the Ministerial Code to concentrate more power in his own hands, demeaning standards in public life.
In particular, the Prime Minister ended the long-standing principle that breaking the Ministerial Code should be an automatic resigning offence, setting a dangerous precedent in which Minsters who commit offences such as bullying, sexual assault or bribery would not automatically have to resign. He also failed to outline the concrete sanctions for serious breaches of the Ministerial Code. Loopholes have been created meaning there are no clear sanctions.
The Labour Party called on Conservative MPs to back the recommendations of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, founded in 1994 by John Major, in response to the damaging sleaze revelations.
Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, said:
“When Boris Johnson’s lies to Parliament were revealed in Sue Gray’s report, this should have been an opportunity to introduce the crucial reforms needed to strengthen integrity and ethics in our politics, as proposed by the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
Instead, the Prime Minister is cherry-picking the recommendations that suit him, with the aim to weaken standards and concentrate power in his own hands. His priorities lie not with making Parliament a more transparent and accountable place, but to consolidate his position and to save his skin.
A Labour Government would clean up politics and restore standards in public life by establishing an independent Integrity and Ethics Commission, which would have the powers to launch investigations without ministerial approval, collect evidence and decide sanctions.
After months of sleaze, shame and scandal in this Tory UK Government, it’s so important that we prevent Boris Johnson’s attempts to normalise its rotten culture and repair the damage done to public trust.”