Written evidence from Kumar (COD0017)


The present Code of Conduct is not working in terms of maintaining standards and achieving public confidence in the current system of parliamentary representation. The reason for this is that MPs are continually seen not to be observing the Seven Principles of Public Life. This blatant lack of compliance is causing the public to become disillusioned. Frankly, greed, dishonesty and corruption appear to be rife and the Code is not successful in preventing these undesirable behaviours.


In the circumstances, the Commissioner should most certainly be empowered to investigate alleged breaches of the wider Code, including the Seven Principles of Public Life, and to investigate them rigorously. It is not sufficient merely to find a breach – there should be zero tolerance of breaches and the penalties for infringement should be sufficiently draconian so as to act as an effective deterrent. In the absence of robust sanctions, it is abundantly clear that it will not be possible to achieve government that serves the electorate rather than the elected.


I would also suggest that MPs should be expected to acknowledge, and engage with, their constituents’ reasonable correspondence within a reasonable timeframe and that this requirement should be incorporated into the Code. My own MP, for example, rarely responds to correspondence, and, when she does respond, it is clear that there is no genuine interest or engagement. Effectively, I am unrepresented in Parliament.


22 October 2020