Stewart Hosie – 2022 Speech on Independent Adviser on Ministerial Interests

The speech made by Stewart Hosie, the SNP MP for Dundee East, in the House of Commons on 30 November 2022.

When the Government published their policy paper on revisions to the ministerial code on 27 May, it said that there would be “an enhanced process” for the initiation of investigations under the ministerial code, that the independent adviser could initiate his or her own investigations, that there would be a more specific reference to the adviser in the ministerial code, and that there would be a duty on Ministers to provide all the information necessary to allow the adviser to discharge his or her duties. However, it turns out that the Prime Minister is not offering potential candidates any enhanced powers, meaning that advisers will not be able to launch their own investigations, and that confirms the blocking of the expansion of powers by his predecessor. So it is a simple question: why are the Government reneging on their own policy statement of May this year, making it more difficult to appoint an independent adviser?

Alex Burghart

I refer the right hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave a few moments ago. He seems terribly well informed, but he seems to have stopped short of reading Lord Geidt’s response to the changes in the terms of reference, where he said that

“this would be a workable scheme”.