Documents to download

What is the Ministerial Code?

The Ministerial Code sets out the standards and conduct expected of Ministers.

It was first published with this title in 1997. It was previously published as “Questions of Procedure for Ministers” in 1992, although it had been in existence before this as a confidential internal circular, since at least the Second World War, and was well known unofficially in the media, academic texts and Parliament.

Its text has been subject to revision following recommendations from the Committee on Standards in Public Life and the Select Committee on Public Administrationand Constitutional Affairs. Proposals for reform of the Code and associated procedures are summarised. 

It has become customary for a revised Code to be published at the beginning of a new administration.

The December 2022 Ministerial Code 

Two versions of the Ministerial Code were issued in 2022. The latest version was issued on 22 December 2022 by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The other 2022 revision was issued on on 27 May 2022 by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Several policy papers were also issued on 27 May 2022. 

The paper includes a history of the Code and describes significant changes made in previous editions from 2001. 

The Independent Adviser on Ministerial Interests

Since 2006 there has been an Independent Adviser on Ministerial Interests, to maintain a register of Ministers’ interests, to give confidential advice on request from Ministers and to conduct investigations at the request of the Prime Minister. There have been calls for this role to be reviewed, particularly with regard to the current absence of any power for the Adviser to initiate investigations unless so instructed by the Prime Minister. Sir Laurie Magnus was appointed as the Independent Adviser in December 2022. The Terms of Reference for the role were updated in May 2022.  

Documents to download

Related posts