MPs should attend course on seven principles of public life says report
Many appear to show little interest in understanding principles drawn up in 1995 after ‘sleaze scandals’, committee warns.
MPs should be required to undergo an induction course to teach them about the seven principles of public life that are meant to promote openness and honesty, a new report will say on Monday.
The committee on standards in public life, chaired by the Belfast historian Lord Bew, says many MPs appear to show little interest in understanding the principles drawn up in 1995 after sleaze scandals during John Major’s premiership.
In a letter to the prime minister presenting the independent advisory body’s latest report, Bew writes that the committee identified areas where improvements could be made and the profile of ethical standards raised.
“Of particular concern to us was the reported lack of engagement with induction by large number of members of parliament. With the prospect of a recall bill, which will give the public the power to remove MPs who have behaved in ways that fall short of the standards expected of them, the stakes have never been higher.
“In effect, ethical issues will now be under even greater scrutiny.
“More than ever, MPs need to be fully aware of the principles and the rules that guide their behaviour; parliament and the political parties need to provide the opportunities for them to build that awareness and understanding.
“An induction programme that fully embraces ethical standards should be the first of those opportunities.”
The seven principles are selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
- The Guardian,