March 18, 2023

No 10 implicitly criticises Geoffrey Cox; MPs to get new vote on Owen Paterson report – as it happened

This live blog is now closed. You can see our latest UK politics stories below:...

This live blog is now closed. You can see our latest UK politics stories below:

  • Revealed: dearth of speeches by former Tory treasurers in Lords
  • Boris Johnson rejects idea of blanket ban on second jobs for MPs
  • Government critics blocked from senior public roles, says Anna Soubry
  • At least a quarter of Tory MPs have second jobs, earning over £4m a year
  • PM trying to ‘take down’ standards watchdog, says Starmer

And here are some more lines from Dominic Raab’s interviews this morning on sleaze/standards/corruption issues.

I’m not in the whips’ office, but I can tell you that government decisions on where investment is made [is] not to take in those political considerations. They’re taken with very clear processes that are followed.

Well, I can’t tell you what happened between the whips and individual MPs, what I can tell you is that there are no Government decisions on investment across the country, that would have political influence beyond the correct official criteria, processes, procedures to make sure that money goes where it’s needed most and where it’s required.

MPs who I’ve spoken to agree that, in a few cases, the government attempted to withdraw funding to which it was already committed from towns represented by independent-minded backbenchers, pleading new pressures on public spending.

But there is no agreement about why it did so. One backbencher says he was told that the whips had compiled a list of MPs who would be affected; that the Treasury was responsible for the list – and that, after he made representations, the funding was restored. At no time was he told that the way in which he had voted or spoken was responsible for the planned cut.

In relation to becoming appointed to the House of Lords there’s also very clear rules.

I would just say that, of course, people who are entrepreneurs but also engaged in public service, whether that’s charities, whether that’s supporting political parties, do a public service. And certainly we benefit when the Conservative party has a treasurer … people who’ve got that kind of experience.

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