There are of course many elements of every Government that are positive and need to be acknowledged. However there are a series of issues that have emerged in the last 48 hours that indicate major changes that are needed in all future Governments. Indeed if there is any prospect of the current Government revising its structure that would surely be a good thing, no matter how unlikely it is. It is clearly vital that Ministers and indeed MPs need to avoid making very misleading statements. It appears that Matt Hancock, he was not putting his family first based on reports regarding how he has left them since the video was made public. However even if he was doing so that is clearly not why he had resigned in any sense. Indeed Brandon Lewis has made many of his own mistakes in the past on much more series issues. It is vital that Ministers who have clearly been breaking their own rules are quick to respond and for their colleagues to support that approach rather than protect their mistakes as the Prime Minister and Brandon Lewis have attempted to do so. The claim that has also emerged of Hancock writing Ministerial emails from using his personal accounts is even more disturbing and provides an arguably much more serious set of issues for him to leave his post. It is clearly vital that any MP or Minister who does that will lose their jobs. Then there is the issue of the CCTV images that the Sun Newspaper was provided with. Irrespective of what was happening in the office, why are CCTV images like that being recorded and how did they get released to a newspaper? In addition to that one wonders how a CCTV setting can occur and for the people to be unaware of it. Then there is the significant question of how any Minister can recruit a Millionaire Lobbyist as their aide who they have known from their days at University. Clearly all Ministers should be protected and supported but in a professional manner and by people who are not working to lobby or who are having an affair with them. A final theme is that MPs who are not Ministers should be focusing on their constituencies, not on American investment banks. It may well be appropriate for MPs to work in charities but their primary focus is to represent their constituents. They may have time available to do other things but allowing investment banks from any nation including ours, to be able to spend a few thousand pounds to recruit an MP who has been and is to become a Minister, or even one that has access to lobbying settings is deeply disturbing. As we know 2 years ago Priti Patel had a £1,000 per hour contract from a global communications firm that supplied products and services to the UK government before she became the Home Secretary. We have no idea how much or how little this may have impacted her decisions over the last two years and we have no idea if Sajid Javid will continue to support his American Investment bank. However it is certainly clear that an NHS Minister is in a very strong place to help encourage investments and lobbyists as Sajid Javid and Matt Hancock could have done for all we know. These sort of activities need to be brought to an urgent end in this Government and certainly in other Governments. As a final few words here is the statement that the Bishop of Rochester stated on 27th April in the context of the way that the Prime Minister has decorated his flat. It now perhaps applies to the whole of this Government and future Governments.
My Lords, I will not advise on internal decorations, but I observe that, by virtue of being here, we are all inhabitants of glass houses. We note the adage that being in a glass house makes us visible, so it is wise to behave in ways that do not disgrace this place or ourselves. We often hear words from or about Ministers and others in public office to the effect that he or she did not “break the rules”. Is that not to set the bar fairly low? Does the Minister agree that, while we are all fallible human beings, we, in public office, should aspire to the highest possible standards of probity and behaviour and not simply settle for keeping the rules? If we do not, public opinion will lead to ever tighter rules.