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Wise words

June 16, 2022 2:34 PM

5r3zSince 2006 when the post was created there have only been four holders of the post of ethics advisor to the Prime Minister looking at the behaviour of the government against the ministerial code. Two have resigned, both working for Mr Johnson.

The first left when the PM ignored advice on the fact the Home Secretary had been found to bully civil servants at the Home Office . The second left yesterday having said to MPs on Monday "It's reasonable to say that perhaps a fixed penalty notice and the prime minister paying it may have constituted not meeting the overarching duty under the ministerial code of complying with the law." He finally went having been put "in an odious position s" asked for advice on policy that knowingly broke the ministerial code

The problem is he can only advise the PM and cannot act independently. With a normal PM that would be less of an issue but when it is the PM whose behaviour steps outside the rules and is in effect judge and jury, being in the role is pretty pointless

This news follows the revelation that former chief executive of Just Eat, David Buttress, just appointed to come up with ideas to tackle rising living costs tweeted on the day after it was revealed Downing Street staff were invited to a "bring you own drinks" event, "Boris has to go, he just has to. You can't survive judgment like this."

Also on Monday the government published its national food strategy having asked Henry Dimbleby founder of Leon restaurants to prepare a report on what needed to be done to tackle obesity and environmental harm caused by food production. Speaking after the government published its response to his landmark report, six months later than promised, he said the plans amounted to "not a strategy but a list of policies". It would fail to have a major impact on the obesity crisis unless the government was prepared to bring in regulation.

The government also rejected Dimbleby' s plans for greater environmental and welfare standards in farming, a 30% reduction in meat and dairy consumption and his calls for trade deals to include measures to protect the UK from cheaper, poorer-quality imports.

And finally it was revealed that Nadeem Ahmed, the Conservative candidate in the up-coming Wakefield by-election has previously been quoted as saying that the Brexit campaign was "built on lies" and that he regretted voting for it. "I voted to leave and I regret the decision. All my friends who voted similarly are the same,"

So a week after surviving narrowly a vote of confidence and saying he would " bang on " and deliver for the British people those around him who you would think would be supportive continue to raise doubts about both his behaviour and his policies. The idea that Mr Johnson will change is for the birds

We could have gone on with Prince Charles and the Archbishop of Canterbury opposing the plan to send refugees to Rwanda but unlike the other quotes these come from sources that are less sympathetic to Conservative populism