The self regulation of politics

According to the ministerial code, ministers- including the prime minister- must be ‘accurate and truthful’ in their dealings with Parliament and comply with the principle of collective responsibility.

Failure to do either would be expected to result in resignation.

Boris Johnson has been accused of potentially breaching the code following allegations he may have misled the Commons on three separate occasions.

1 December 2021

Johnons said that : “All guidance was followed completely in No 10.” when quizzed by Sir Keir Starmer over whether a a lockdown-defying Christmas gathering was hosted No 10 on 18 December 2020.Sue Gray’s report has since concluded that series of gatherings marked a  “serious failure to observe… the standards expected of the entire British population at the time”.

8 December 2021

Sir Keir quizzed the prime minister once again regarding the 18 December 2020 gathering after video footage emerged of then No 10 press secretary joking about it.

“I have been repeatedly assured that the rules were not broken… I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no Covid rules were broken,” Johnson claimed.

8 December 2021, 31 January 2022

During the same prime minister’s questions, Johnson stressed that “guidance” and the “rules” were followed, when Labour MP Catherine West asked if he would affirm whether or not a party happened on Downing Street premises on 13 November 2020. Johnson told MPs on Monday that he “stuck by” these comments.