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Standards Committee gather views on MPs Code of Conduct as part of comprehensive review

9 March 2021

The Committee on Standards is seeking the views of MPs on the current House of Commons Code of Conduct as part of their detailed investigation into the operation of the Code.

The survey was distributed to all Members of the House with an accompanying letter from the Chair of the Standards Committee, Chris Bryant MP. In the letter, Mr Bryant stated “Our aim is to have a simple, open and readily comprehensible system which helps enhance the reputation of the House”.

The letter noted that the Code had “not been substantially amended for several years”, and that the Committee were keen to get “as full an impression of colleagues’ views about and experience of the Code as possible to inform the review”.

The responses will contribute towards the first stage of a multi-layered review process, announced in September last year, in preparing a new text of the Code of Conduct, and the associated Guide to the Rules, for approval by the House.

Chair's comment

Chris Bryant MP, Chair of the Committee on Standards, said:

“The Code of Conduct for MPs has not been meaningfully amended for years, and this is why the Committee on Standards are taking action by conducting a detailed and wide-ranging review.

“Our aim is to have a simple, transparent and readily accessible Code of Conduct that Members of Parliament are proud to uphold.

“We have already received extensive evidence from a range of experts, and this survey now gives us an opportunity to hear from MPs. We want to learn how far they understand the Code and use it in their daily work. 

“The Committee aims to produce a refreshed Code which encourages good attitudes and behaviour by MPs, but which also has ‘teeth’ to penalise any MPs who break the rules.”

The Committee will in due course launch a wider public consultation on their proposals for the Code, to be carried out in conjunction with the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, before a final optimised Code will be proposed to the House to consider later this year.

The last review of the Code was completed in 2015.

Further information

Image: PA