A very serious charge and slur!

By stewartb

My understanding is that for the Westminster and Scottish governments the Independent Advisors on matters relating to the Ministerial Code are appointments made by PM and FM respectively. Was there an implication in the media that the probity of the individuals and their reporting is somehow diminished by this fact? That would be a very serious charge and slur!

The Scottish Government on the matter of the Ministerial Code and how any potential breaches are investigated seems to follow broadly similar practices to HM Government in Westminster.

Each government has a document – the Ministerial Code – which are very similar in scope and content. New versions of are usually published at the start of each new administration, although in certain circumstances updating occurs more frequently. Each PM and each FM pens his/her own foreward to the document upon taking office.

The status and role of the Independent Advisor on Ministerial Interests (the Westminster terminology) with respect to the Ministerial Code for the Westminster Government is described in this briefing paper for those wishing more details:

Source: House of Commons Library (2018) The Ministerial Code and the Independent Adviser on Ministerial Interests. BRIEFING PAPER Number 03750

Specifically the HoC Library paper explains:

‘3.1 Appointment of the Independent Adviser: The Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests is “entirely a personal appointment of the Prime Minister of the day”. The role does not have a statutory basis, and is not subject to open recruitment or a pre- appointment hearing.’

So such an Independent Advisor for HM Government would be strictly Boris Johnson’s, the PM’s, ‘Advisor’. And the same goes for the SG and FM.

More on the Westminster system: ‘Since 2006 there has been an Independent Adviser on 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. There has been some controversy over decisions of successive Prime Ministers not to refer individuals to the Adviser.’

This approach has been debated previously in Westminster as we learn in the same briefing: “The Government response to this report, ‘The Prime Minister’s Adviser on Ministers’ Interests: independent or not?’ … , was published in February 2013, and stated that the Government remained of the view that the role of the Independent Adviser should be a personal appointment made by the Prime Minister of the day.’

The June 2008 edition of the Scottish Ministerial Code introduced independent advisers on the application of the Code. The SG’s website states: “Where they deem it appropriate, the First Minister may refer matters to the independent advisers to provide advice on which to base their judgement about any action required in respect of ministerial conduct. The findings of the independent advisers are published.”

The Independent Advisors on the Ministerial Code in Scotland – broadly equivalent to the role in Westminster discussed above – have since 2008 been:

Rt Hon Sir George Reid and Rt Hon Lord Steel of Aikwood KT KBE: June 2008 to August 2011

Rt Hon Dame Elish Angiolini QC DBE August 2011 to date

Rt Hon Lord Fraser of Carmyllie QC: August 2011 to June 2013

Sir David Bell KCB: October 2012 to January 2013

James Hamilton: January 2013 to date


16 thoughts on “A very serious charge and slur!

  1. I note with interest that Smith,Kerr and Campbell are all pushing that this will roll on until the election just like the BBc to keeping bringing it up,I suppose Bruce on QT will be having a go as well.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Scott
      Then indeed they are truly mad
      I honestly believe that shortly SNP and Greens
      Will have increasing support in the polls
      People have a natural instinct as to what is right and what is wrong
      So if the MSM & Unionists had any common sense whatsoever they would apologise and retreat gracefully
      If not the Ice below their feet melts and only one direction possible DOWN
      The really big mistake they have made is that
      The Tories,Labour and the hapless Lib Dems
      Have all sung from the same hymn sheet
      Therefore all 3 of them shall bleed votes
      Sensible voters do not jump from the pot to the fire
      The Greens have clearly demonstrated honesty, decency and also disgust at the Unionist parties
      So I suspect they shall attract the difficult to shift of doubters and NO voters
      Whilst the SNP vote will stiffen with resolve now and see the return of those recent deserters


      1. The Greens may also be perceived by those who can’t bring themselves to vote for their usual party to be ‘not the one they’d never vote for’ IYSWIM.


  2. Bet they won’t be too keen on having Patrick Harvie on QT, after today’s little effort. I was decidedly turning off to the Green leadership until the VONCs of Swinney and Sturgeon. Maybe he was in electoral mode early, but he’ll be the first refusal for list vote if SNP 1/2 isn’t likely in my region (i.e. strong SNP constituency VI predictions).

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Johnston has just ignored the Ministerial Code. Patel was accused of bullying. Shouting and swearing at civil servants in every post to which she has been appointed. There was an Inquiry. It supported the claims. Johnston ignored the finding. The person holding the Inquiry resigned.

    The Westminster Cabinet has illegally not published the members outside interest and income for over a year. The information will not be gathered for some time. It is just ignored.

    The Tories are awarding £Billions of unscrutinised public contracts illegally to their cronies. PPE, Test and trace. Computer programming. Cost to the public purse £Billions.

    Dame Elish Angiolini is a special advisor. She was Advocate General appointed by Jack McConnell.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Why do they keep harping on that Alex Salmond is guilty. When he was found not guilty in a court of Law. A court found him not guilty. Yet Nicola Sturgeon was supposed to know about things he was found not guilty on. If he was not guilty he was not doing the things of which he was accused.

    Like walking past someone in a lobby ‘with sexual aggression’. There was a credible, female lawyer witness who said it did not happen. A friend of the complainant. People (females) have know him for years and years and never noticed any impropriety. He has thousands of female (male) friends.

    Everyone knows the credible witnesses names but they are never mentioned. Another charge was he ‘touched someone’s bum when photos were being taken outside. There were several female witnesses that said it did not happen.

    There was an assault that was supposed to have happen when the person was not in the building. Testified to by several females witnesses. A broken bone meant the person was not there. On and on. They are even hiding the ‘charges’. They would not stand up in Court.

    Touching someone’s hair. When other people touched it. According to witnesses the person was not upset. They were laughing about it. The Police knew it would not stand up in Court. They had to elaborate the charges to try and make it stick.

    Alex Salmond could not go down the street without people throwing themselves at him,hugging and kissing him. Taking selfies. Wanting him in for cups of tea. Was he being sexually assaulted. No. Some people told lies to vetting committees.

    There was an incident in 2013. He cuddled on a bed with a person. He says consensual. Not sexual. They had been drinking alcohol. It is hardly crime of the century. He apologised and it was accepted through a arbitrary procedure. Nicola Sturgeon might not have know about that. How was she supposed to know? They often keep it confidential for the complainant. HR. Data Protection.

    The incident at Edinburgh Airport did not happen according to witnesses. It was investigated but nothing came of it. Still no one knows what it was about.

    Why do they not list out the charges. They do not have to be kept secret. Margaret Mitchell complained it should have gone through the arbitration procedures. It should have been directed to the Police procedures channels to help would be complainants. To establish if a crime had happened? Not investigated by the Civil Service who are not trained or qualified in those matters.

    Yet Nicola Sturgeons was supposed to know incidents that were found not guilty had happened. That’s like someone should be found guilty of incidents that did not happen. An impossibility.


  5. So are the BritNats and their compliant BritNat media questioning the integrity of the the James Hamilton?
    I think we all know whose integrity is brought into question by all this, the parcel of rogues taking a huge wad of cash from the public purse for serving the English Government.
    No scruples, no integrity, hope the BritNat MSP’s involved in the witch all lose their jobs in May.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh christ, meant witch hunt…I studied the history of witch hunts as a student and made some prints about it…It was a most horrific historical era indeed.


      1. You did it again! 😀 😀 😀

        Having family near to Pendle, I did a little research on the witches there myself. Nasty.

        Frightening too. It goes to show how easily ordinary, basically decent people can be led astray. I’d hate to think we’re watching that in our own time, bit fear we are…


  6. The BBC has ” spoken to” staff about their responsibility to the Union flag.

    They won’t have to speak to their lacky’s in their northern fastness at BBC Hootsman.
    “If only they were all like Glen and Sarah”? Thinks Boris!

    Liked by 3 people

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