Press release 23rd Jan 2023

Former chancellor should refer himself to parliamentary standards watchdog

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In response to the launch of an investigation into a potential breach of the ministerial code by the former Chancellor, Daniel Bruce, Chief Executive of Transparency International UK, said:

"These revelations are hugely damaging to trust in politics, which is already at a worryingly low ebb, and unfortunately they are not an isolated incident. The Prime Minister has pledged to lead a government of integrity and accountability, yet reforms to date have merely tinkered with Britain’s crumbling defences against impropriety in high office. Supporting the Public Service (Integrity and Ethics) Bill currently in the Lords would demonstrate a genuine commitment to rebuilding trust in politics.

"The investigation into the former Chancellor's potential ministerial impropriety is welcome, but much of the events in question took place prior to Mr Zahawi joining the government front bench. To ensure a comprehensive investigation can take place, Mr Zahawi should refer himself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and offer and full and frank account of his historical relationship to Balshore Investments."