I’ve lodged a complaint against MPs Boris Johnson and Michael Gove this morning with Parliamentary Standards as below.
I’ll be doing some more serious stuff later this week, as I said I would.
This complaint is made in respect of the conduct of the following members of Parliament:
Should the investigation (and any evidence gathered) find other Members involved or implicated in misconduct, it is expected that they shall be subject to the same rigorous standard of inquiry.
It is noted that this complaint and the code itself has no impact on MEPs, which underlines a significant problem in the system of governance as regards their positions.
Prior to detailing the heads of complaint, it is necessary to refer to latest (2016) Code of Conduct to set out the scope of the code and general duties of members.
Scope of the Code
“2. The Code applies to a Member’s conduct which relates in any way to their membership of the House. The Code does not seek to regulate the conduct of Members in their purely private and personal lives or in the conduct of their wider public lives unless such conduct significantly damages the reputation and integrity of the House of Commons as a whole or of its Members generally.
3. The obligations set out in this Code are complementary to those which apply to all Members by virtue of the procedural and other rules of the House and the rulings of the Chair, and to those which apply to Members falling within the scope of the Ministerial Code”.
Duties of Members
“4. By virtue of the oath, or affirmation, of allegiance taken by all Members when they are elected to the House, Members have a duty to be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen, her heirs and successors, according to law.
5. Members have a duty to uphold the law, including the general law against discrimination.
6. Members have a general duty to act in the interests of the nation as a whole; and a special duty to their constituents.
7. Members should act on all occasions in accordance with the public trust placed in them. They should always behave with probity and integrity, including in their use of public resources”
It is clear that the substantive complaints against the subjects fall within the scope of the code and is in regard of their duties as members.
The heads of complaint are, for simplicity, set out against the general principles of conduct for each subject.
The expectation that the code will be followed by members is clearly established at IV.8 as follows:
“In carrying out their parliamentary and public duties, Members will be expected to observe the following general principles of conduct identified by the Committee on Standards in Public Life in its First Report as applying to holders of public office. These principles will be taken into account when considering the investigation and determination of any allegations”.
The alleged breaches of the code – set against the standards – by the subjects of this complaint are:
Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.”
Johnson – shamelessly and consciously engaged in a campaign, intending to become Prime Minister and receive the benefits of office, utilising journalistic contacts and platform to mislead the general public, and creating deliberate divisions in society and his own party at a time of national crisis, then withdrew from said campaign without apology or recompense for damage done, instead resuming a journalistic commentary attempting to enhance his own position while discrediting colleagues.
Gove – shamelessly and consciously engaged in a campaign, intending to become Prime Minister and receive the benefits of office, utilising journalistic family members and their platform to mislead the general public, creating deliberate divisions in society and his own party at a time of national crisis. It is further alleged by a member of the house that Gove openly discussed parliamentary matters openly and with “loose lips”.
Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
Both Gove and Johnson are accountable for cynically misleading the public by their own choice. The appropriate scrutiny of their actions is by this committee and it is noted that neither has self referred.
Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.
Johnson and Gove have both failed to promote and preserve the principles of this code and have set the worst example of parliamentary behaviour.
In respect of the rules of conduct, the alleged breaches are set out against the expectation of the Code at V.9, which states:
“Members are expected to observe the following rules and associated Resolutions of the House.”
10. Members shall base their conduct on a consideration of the public interest, avoid conflict between personal interest and the public interest and resolve any conflict between the two, at once, and in favour of the public interest.
Johnson and Gove have acted and continue to act in their own interests with no apparent care for the public interest whatsoever.
14. Information which Members receive in confidence in the course of their parliamentary duties should be used only in connection with those duties. Such information must never be used for the purpose of financial gain.
It is alleged by a member of the house that Gove has passed on information which may in turn have fed a journalistic column which is written by a family member for financial compensation.
16. Members shall never undertake any action which would cause significant damage to the reputation and integrity of the House of Commons as a whole, or of its Members generally.
The actions of Johnson and Gove have sparked a national constitutional and democratic crisis which has been broadly condemned. The reputation of the parliamentary system has been and continues to be significantly damaged by them.
For clarity, the conduct of Gove and Johnson is not within the exemption provided at Para. 17 as this is not a personal/private matter. “The Commissioner may not investigate a specific matter under paragraph 16 which relates only to the conduct of a Member in their private and personal lives.”
Both Gove and Johnson have caused significant harm to the reputation of parliament and caused significant damage to the country by working against the public interest for personal and selfish means and must be held accountable for their actions in order to preserve integrity of the U.K. parliament.
Due to the scale of damage caused, it is submitted that dismissal from service as members is the only appropriate course of action.