Last Monday one of our local MPs asked an interesting question during the debate under the title of Standards: Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules which was being managed by Penny Mordaunt who is the Leader of the House of Commons. Along with the question the answer was also interesting. The answer included the comment “For example, if someone is looking at their MP, they want to have a comprehensive picture, so we have already started looking at that, and I hear what hon. Members have said.” It is always fascinating that after more than 12 years as a Government that a Party claims they have started to look at something when the theme is not based on recent aspects. Anyway here is the question from Peter Bottomley in Worthing West and Father of the House of Commons.
Peter: When the Chairman of the Committee on Standards, Chris Bryant, talks about his fallibility, he reminds me of article XXVI of the articles of religion. My right hon. Friend the Leader of the House has convinced me that amendment (b) is too soon and too rushed. Will she consider having a button or a link on both registers, so that people can find other information about a Member who is also a Minister?
Penny: On that point, which has also been made by the Committee Chairman, who accuses me of using the argument of saying “not yet”, we have already started this work. I have already been working with the propriety and ethics team, and we have audited every Government Department, which is why I can bore Members senseless about why there are some problems. We have already started to look at how we might have a system that everyone in Whitehall could report into, instead of doing it in a million different ways, but also at our goal being that transparency. For example, if someone is looking at their MP, they want to have a comprehensive picture, so we have already started looking at that, and I hear what hon. Members have said.