Politics explained

What does the ministerial code actually say?

Douglas Ross, the Scottish Tory leader, says Boris Johnson must resign if he broke the code. John Rentoul on what that might mean

Sunday 02 May 2021 21:30
comments
<p>Douglas Ross, the Scottish Conservative leader, said the prime minister must resign if...</p>

Douglas Ross, the Scottish Conservative leader, said the prime minister must resign if...

D

ouglas Ross, the Scottish Conservative leader, was trapped yesterday by his demand that Nicola Sturgeon should resign as first minister if she is found to have broken the Scottish government’s ministerial code. Did this mean he thought Boris Johnson should resign if he broke the UK ministerial code? “Of course,” Ross told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.

So how likely is it that the prime minister will be found to have broken the code? That depends on two things: what the code says and who decides whether Johnson has contravened it.

Two parts of the code might be relevant. Paragraph 1.3c says: “It is of paramount importance that ministers give accurate and truthful information to parliament, correcting any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity. Ministers who knowingly mislead parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the prime minister.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments