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May 27 33 tweets 7 min read
You might have heard today that Boris Johnson has made a few changes to the Ministerial Code

It's being said he's "Watering it down" in the wake of #PartyGate after being accused of breaching it multiple times

But what is the #MinisterialCode & why is it important?
The Ministerial Code is a code of conduct that applies to MPs in England (there's separate code for Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland)
Written rules appeared in the 1980s because obviously MPs could be trusted completely before that date.

There was some form of code of conduct in place since the 1940s though (I assume because of the war)
The first publication to be called "Ministerial Code" was published by Tony Blair in 1997

By convention, each sitting PM releases or revises the rules when in power
This is why Johnson is able to update the rules as he sees fit without it going to a court or parliament for a reading

The code itself is broken down into an introduction by the current PM and then 10 sections which cover various government positions and what's expected of them
Briefly, the sections cover:

Section 1 - MPs: How they should behave in office, conflicts of interest and not misleading parliament

Section 2 - Government: How the government as a whole should act & what happens when people leave government
Section 3 - Appointments: Guidelines regarding special advisors, private secretaries etc.

Section 4 - Departments: How departments should be structured and operate

Section 5 - Civil Service: Guidance around impartiality of the civil service
Section 6 - Constituency & Party Interests: Covers things like not using public money for election leaflets or what to do if their position is at odds with the wishes of their constituents
Section 7 - Private Interests: Guidance on financial interests, how to be neutral if they're in a trade union, not accepting gifts if it's a conflict of interest and how to declare gifts received
Section 8 - Presentation of Policy: Covers speeches/press appearances, that they're not allowed to practice "regular journalism" without permission, or publishing books about their role while in office
Katy Note: thought we could force Nadine to stop writing those "books" for a minute there 🤣

Section 9 - Parliament: Oral statements must not be made to Parliament without permission from the PM and you must notify a minister beforehand if you're going to mention them
Section 10 - Travel: Covers claiming for travel expenses, who can charter flights, who can use official cars and even what happens if you're claiming air miles on official business
There is also an annex called "The Seven Principles Of Public Life" These come from the Committee on Standards In Public Life and were published in 1995. They cover the basics of how ministers should behave and their attitudes while in office.
The principles are:

- Selflessness: ministers should act entirely in the public interest.

- Integrity: no financial obligations should be accepted if they could undermine the minister's position.

- Objectivity: when making appointments, decisions should be based on merit.
- Accountability: all public office-holders are accountable, and should co-operate with all scrutiny procedures.

- Openness: all decisions should be justified, and information should be restricted only when necessary for the public interest.
- Honesty: public office-holders are required, by duty, to be honest in all their dealings and business.

- Leadership: the principles should be supported and upheld by leadership and example.
The 7 principles apply in addition to the Ministerial Code

It's important to remember that the code and principles apply to all elected MPs in all parties, not just the party in power

And they apply for 2 years AFTER an MP has left their role
The PM has accused of misleading parliament on numerous occasions over not having a gathering, then having a gathering that was within the rules, to then admitting to breaking the rules
He's also been very misleading about employment figures, environment policy and much more on several occasions.

The wonderful @PeterStefanovi2 regularly calls Johnson out for this:

Under the old rules, breaching the ministerial code was a resignation matter

The problem is that the person who decides the code was breached is.... the Prime Minister
There have been notable controversies surrounding the code - Priti Patel was found to have "not met the high standards expected of her under the Ministerial Code" during the bullying investigation

She didn't resign
Owen Patterson was found to have a conflict of interest having a second job for a company that he lobbied for

His suspension was blocked by a MP vote

He eventually resigned citing he now wanted a life "outside the cruel world of politics".
Johnson has ignored calls to resign on multiple occasions for blatant breaches of the code

And instead of resigning, he's now rewritten the rules
So what we have now is that instead of an expected resignation as a matter of course, Johnson has now introduced sanctions which include "some form of public apology, remedial action or removal of ministerial salary for a period"
The Prime Minister may also appoint a "special advisor" to investigate

Lord Geidt was appointed by Johnson to this role in April 2021

If that name's familiar it's because he investigated Johnson over whether he mislead parliament over the Number 11 flat refurb
Note though that it's the PM who must call for the investigation to take place, the investigator cannot operate independently without the PMs say so.
Also, the findings don't have to be published but the investigator can "require" them to be published in a "timely manner"

This allows the PM to choose the best time.

Anyone get "A good day to bury bad news" vibes?
What's unusual about all of this is that the #MinisterialCode is normally only updated at the start of an administration, not two years into it

So why has this change been made now?
If you were a cynic you would argue that it's because Johnson is facing an investigation by The Commons Privileges Committee to see if he misled Parliament over #PartyGate
Now the rules have been changed there's less pressure for him to resign

But I'm sure that's just a coincidence, right?
Sources Final:

If you're bored you can read the whole #MinisteralCode here


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More from @katy_whitton

Jun 13
The Government have decided that they're going to throw out parts of the Northern Ireland protocol in order to "Get Brexit Done" 1/39
As a reminder, they've been attempting to get Brexit done for 6 years and have only succeeded in gaslighting the UK public, throwing out multiple workable deals (including Johnson's "Oven Ready one) and are now on the cusp of breaking International law 2/39
But it's okay though! They've wheeled out several minister who all confirm we're not in fact breaking International Law because Northern Ireland is in "grave and imminent peril" and that means they can do what they want 3/39
Read 39 tweets
Jun 12
I'm not going to quote tweet this as I'm having a hard time keeping up with replies to the original thread and don't want an additional pile on - check my tweets/replies for what's going on Image
I've read the replies

They're predominantly anti-MSM (old media) and pro YouTube (new media)

What I find interesting is Tenbarge used to work for an online company (new media) and moved to NBC (old media)

See the disconnect there?
Just because you report on online stuff for (old) MSM doesn't mean that you're not part of the MSM system

It works in a certain way, it has certain expectations and certain rules on how it reports events

I'm just look at the UK media (MailOnline or Daily Express anyone?)
Read 8 tweets
Oct 22, 2021
Anti-Vaxxers recently served an NHS hostpital in Colchester with "Legal Documents"
I've already covered the Nurember Code that they site, and broken down why these documents probably aren't as legal as they think they are but one of the things that they mentioned was Motu proprio - which a few of us have nicknamed the "pope code"

So what is it?
I've already covered the Nuremberg Code that they cite, and broken down why these documents probably aren't as legal as they think they are but one of the things that they mentioned was Motu proprio - which a few of us have nicknamed the "pope code"

So what is it?
Read 37 tweets
Oct 21, 2021
Of the back of my Nuremberg Code thread, some have been asking whether there is a legal basis for papers to have be served to Colchester Hospital

FYI I am not a lawyer, I just like researching random facts on the internet

So, Is the Nuremberg Code legally binding?

Let's see...
Well, in a nutshell, no it's not

(sorry to disappoint)

The code is an "ethical framework"

That means it's stuff you SHOULD be doing, not stuff you HAVE to do
Even if it were legally binding, the Nuremberg Code would only apply in Germany where it was codified

It was never adopted formally by the UK or, as far as I can tell, any other Government

And even Germany didn't put it into formal law

It's not legally enforceable
Read 24 tweets
Oct 20, 2021
I am still avoiding work so let's look into "serving" "legal" documents, shall we?

An anti-Covid group served "legal documents" on Colchester Hospital

Apparently anyone can serve legal documents in England

It is recommended that you use a professional process server though as if the papers are not served correctly it can mean big issues in your court case later on.

Do we think these papers were served correctly?
At a bare minimum, the woman forced to receive these "legal documents" would have had to sign for each envelope to show that she received them

She would also have to agree that she is capable of acting as a representative of the person named in the papers
Read 18 tweets
Oct 20, 2021
The people who tried to use the Magna Carta to circumvent Lockdown restrictions are now attempting to use the "Nuremberg Code" to stop NHS COVID operations

Do we think that these people have ever read the Nuremberg code?

Well I have because I am avoiding work. Let's take a look
Contrary to popular belief, the code didn't come in the aftermath of the infamous Nuremberg Trials, the basics of it came into being in 1919 because even before World War II, the Germans were into some super-dodgy medical procedures
One of the biggest parts of this new code of ethics was the idea of "informed consent"

That means that in order to enter into any experiment, the participant must know exactly what's going to happen to them, who is going to be doing it and all possible outcomes
Read 20 tweets

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