It's on every news bulletin, website and newspaper―potential rule-breaking in Downing Street

Writing in NLJ  this week,  John Gould, senior partner, Russell-Cooke, takes a look at misbehaviour in public office and examines the limitations of the Ministerial Code.

Whether or not the Prime Minister lied to Parliament, whether he broke the law, and whether MPs were threatened with withdrawal of public money for schools might all be considered breaches of the Ministerial Code. But what is the Ministerial Code? What are its contents and what sanctions apply?

Gould digs into the nitty-gritty of this mysterious set of rules. He writes: ‘The code and the system around it are political and not legal in character. The independent adviser's investigations lead to a political statement, not a judicial finding. That statement may create political opportunities or risks by shaping public opinion, which may in itself be a sort of sanction. There may be grumblings in Parliament because of it, but in the end the fount of dishonour, as it were, is the prime minister.'

Originally Published by New Law Journal

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