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Point of Order

Volume 541: debated on Tuesday 6 March 2012

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Sir Christopher Kelly said at the Public Administration Committee this morning that the Prime Minister had “almost certainly” broken the ministerial code in not having an investigation into the conduct of the previous Secretary of State for Defence and Mr Adam Werritty. Instead, the probe was conducted by a senior civil servant. That view has also been expressed by the only enforcer of the ministerial code, Sir Philip Mawer, who has now resigned.

Do you think, Mr Speaker, that two investigations are now necessary—a legitimate investigation into the conduct of the previous Secretary of State and Mr Adam Werritty and an investigation into the conduct of the Prime Minister? As the Prime Minister is the only person who can authorise an investigation under the ministerial code, is it, perhaps, a matter for you in the Chair to consider whether action is needed on the allegations made by Sir Christopher Kelly?

The hon. Gentleman is a very experienced Member, and he never uses a word accidentally. I noticed in his attempted point of order his use of the word “perhaps”, which I suspect was surrounded on either side by an appropriate comma. My answer is no, it is not a matter for the Chair, and this is not a point of order for the Chair. We are considering a matter of Committee business on the one hand and, as I understand it, the ministerial code on the other. The latter, as he acknowledges, is supervised and overseen by, and the responsibility of, the Prime Minister. Whether that is satisfactory to the hon. Gentleman I cannot say, but it remains a fact. He has very effectively made his point for today, but it is not a point for me to respond to beyond what I have said.