[2023] Motion 64 Standards in public life

carried motion
Carried motion

Received from:

Congress recognises that maintaining the highest standards in public life is the bedrock of our democracy, our economic success, our foreign policy, and is crucial to maintaining confidence in our public institutions. Businesses want to invest in a country where governance is stable, predictable and fair.
The seven principles of public life, selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership, apply equally to parish councillors and Prime ministers. Those who seek to lead and delver public services should do so for the public good, not private gain.

Congress recognises that those principles are facing their greatest challenge since they were first developed over 25 years ago. As the country’s most senior public servant, Boris Johnson resigned as prime minister and MP over his failure to maintain standards. Our current prime minister appointed his deputy, Dominic Raab, despite knowing of complaints of bullying, and allowed him to resign rather than be sacked when found guilty of breaching the ministerial code.

Congress welcomes the Labour Party’s commitment to establish a new ethics and integrity commission which will assume responsibilities over the Ministerial Code and Advisory Committee on Business Appointments.

Congress calls on the general council to engage with the Labour party on their proposals to ensure that:

i. there is a consistent approach to the enforcement of standards across the public sector

ii. independence of regulatory bodies is enhanced, and appointments are made without political interference

iii. investigations, determinations, and punishments are determined, and seen to be determined, independently.