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Cabinet Office

Volume 728: debated on Monday 20 February 2023

Topical Questions

The following is an extract from Cabinet Office questions on 2 February 2023:

There is, literally, one rule for all normal MPs and another for Ministers in relation to transparency. All ordinary MPs must declare all their financial interests within 28 days, whereas, as has already been revealed, Ministers do it considerably later, if at all. Why do we have to wait until May to know what Ministers’ financial interests are? Only a few weeks ago, when we had a vote on this matter, the Leader of the House promised that she would ensure that all Ministers were held to the same timetable as other MPs. When is that going to happen?

Ministers are required, under the ministerial code, to provide full declarations, so I dispute the hon. Gentleman’s claim in that regard. However, he raises an important point which I have discussed with the Leader of the House. We are taking steps to move to more rapid declarations of ministerial interests so that they align more closely with the declarations of Members of Parliament, and we are working through those processes with our private offices.

[Official Report, 2 February 2023, Vol. 727, c. 453.]

Letter of correction from the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the right hon. Member for Hertsmere (Oliver Dowden).

An error has been identified in my response to the hon. Member for Rhondda (Sir Chris Bryant).

The correct information should have been:

Ministers are required, under the ministerial code, to provide full declarations, so I dispute the hon. Gentleman’s claim in that regard. However, he raises an important point which I have discussed with the Leader of the House. We are taking steps to move to more rapid sharing of Ministers’ transparency publications so that they align more closely with the declarations of Members of Parliament, and we are working through those processes with our private offices.