Closed petition Make the Ministerial Code and Nolan Principles legally enforceable for MPs

MPs all too often offend against the Ministerial Code and/or Nolan Principles of Public Life with impunity. These should be made into law, enforceable by the courts, with penalties for MPs found guilty of offending against them, increasing with the severity of the offence.

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MPs requesting correction to wrong information are generally ignored and MPs calling out lies can be suspended. To make it less attractive for MPs to breach the Ministerial Code and/or Nolan Principles, Parliament should turn both into law, with clear penalities to be imposed for offences against them.

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Standards in Public Life and the Ministerial Code discussed by MPs

On Tuesday 7 June, MPs debated standards in public life. This was an Opposition Day debate on a motion determined by the Labour Party.

During the debate, MPs discussed recent changes to the Ministerial Code, as well as the recommendations of a report by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, 'Upholding Standards in Public Life', published in November 2021.

Watch the debate back:

Read a transcript of the debate:

Opposition Days are days allocated in the House of Commons for the discussion of subjects chosen by the opposition (non-government) parties. There are 20 allocated Opposition Days in each session (parliamentary year).

Find out more about Opposition Days:

MPs to hear from Prime Minister's adviser on ministerial interests

On Tuesday 14 June, MPs on the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee will take evidence from the Prime Minister’s Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests, Lord Geidt.

It is expected the session will cover:

  • Recent updates to the Ministerial Code
  • The powers of the Independent Adviser
  • The contents of the Independent Adviser’s recent Annual Report

Find out more about the session:

Watch the session (from 10am, Tuesday 14 June):

A transcript of the session will be available to read a few days after it takes place, on the Committee's website:

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee is a cross-party group of MPs which examines constitutional issues, and the quality and standards of administration provided by Civil Service departments. It's a cross-party committee and is independent of the Government.

Find out more on their website:

You can get updates on their work by following the Committee on Twitter:

WH debate on the Ministerial Code

MPs debate the Ministerial Code

On Tuesday 29 November, MPs debated the Ministerial Code, which sets out the standards of conduct expected of ministers and how they discharge their duties.

This was a Westminster Hall debate, led by Chris Bryant MP.

What are Westminster Hall debates?

Westminster Hall is the second Chamber of the House of Commons.

Westminster Hall debates give MPs an opportunity to raise local or national issues and receive a response from a government minister. Any MP can take part in a Westminster Hall debate.

Debates in Westminster Hall take place on ‘general debate' motions expressed in neutral terms. These motions are worded ‘That this House has considered [a specific matter]'.

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