UK to publish new code of conduct for ministers following cabinet reshuffle

The UK government has produced a new code of conduct for ministers, to beef up sections against harassment, inappropriate behaviour and unofficial overseas meetings.

This follows the departure of several ministers due to claims of improper behaviour, and the case of the former international development secretary Priti Patel, who held a series of unofficial meetings in Israel.

Patel resigned after it emerged she had met more than a dozen Israeli ministers, businesspeople and a senior lobbyist while on holiday in the country, and had not properly informed No 10.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said there would be “a number of changes” to the code, which sets out the expected standards of behaviour for ministers and how they carry out their duties, but that full details would follow.

READ: UPDATED LIST: UK Prime Minister, Theresa May reshuffles cabinet

The code will be sent to ministers, who will need to confirm that they and their aides have read it, he said.

The Guardian quoted the spokesman as saying: “It will ensure new wording to ensure that the code properly covers inappropriate, bullying or harassing behaviour. There’s also new wording to specifically address the requirements on ministers to report official meetings domestically and, especially, overseas.”

The first issue follows a wave of allegations against MPs and some ministers, which led to several departures.

In November, the then-defence secretary Michael Fallon left the government after saying his behaviour towards women in the past had “fallen short”, following claims he had made unwanted advances to some.

Shortly before Christmas, May’s effective deputy Damian Green was sacked after admitting he lied about the presence of pornographic images on his House of Commons computer found during a police raid in 2008.




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