British government ministers who’re found to have breached the Commons Ministerial Code, such as boozing heavily on the job during a public health emergency and national lockdown, will no longer automatically be expected to resign or face the sack, according a new Government policy statement on Friday.
The brass neck statement from Boris Johnson said it would be “disproportionate” to expect a minister to lose their job for “minor” breaches of the code.
It said the Prime Minister could instead order “some form of public apology, remedial action or removal of ministerial salary for a period”.
It said revised terms of reference for the Prime Minister’s independent adviser on the code, include an “enhanced process” to allow him to initiate investigations with the Prime Minister’s consent, although the final decision rests with the Prime Minister.
“Reflecting the Prime Minister’s accountability for the conduct of the executive, it is important that a role is retained for the Prime Minister in decisions about investigations,” the statement said.
The statement comes as Boris Johnson is facing an investigation by the Commons Privileges Committee into whether he misled Parliament over lockdown parties in Whitehall.