THURROCK MP Jackie Doyle-Price has spoken in the House of Commons about her disappointment in the ‘leadership and culture’ of the Government following the resignation of Lord Geidt as Ethics adviser to the Prime Minister.
Lord Geidt was responsible for ensuring that Ministers always act within the law and with integrity. He resigned after being advised that the Government intended to break international legal obligations.
Jackie said, “It is really important that everyone in public service abides by the rules of the game. That is what maintains respect and honour in all our institutions.
There are a few messages that I would like to land. The end does not justify the means, and, taking back control does not mean pleasing yourself, must be clear principles.
Those two principles need to be looked at in the context of Lord Geidt’s resignation, because he has been clear that he was, in effect, being asked to give the Government a bye to wilfully break their international obligations under law. That is not acceptable, and, frankly, that should not be acceptable for any self-respecting Conservative Member of Parliament, because if there is one thing that we do believe in, it is constitutional propriety. It is about upholding the law, and that is central to the ministerial code. It is important that we sustain that.
We are the Conservative party, the party of Margaret Thatcher and Churchill, not the party of Donald Trump. That is exactly what we are talking about. If such law breaches are sanctioned—even if there are the best of motives, such as to save our steel industry—I am afraid that sets a precedent for people to use law breaches for much more malevolent intentions. It should be in the DNA of Conservative Members, for whom constitutional propriety is so important, to ensure that we play by the rules of the game, however politically inconvenient, because there is always more than one route to achieve an outcome.
This is fundamentally not British behaviour. If there is one thing in the British DNA, it is a belief in fair play and upholding the rules. Our global reputation is built on our respect for the rule of law and how we have exported that around the world. It is incumbent on all of us to ensure that we uphold the most important standards.”