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Rishi Sunak: Appointing ethics adviser would be one of first things I do as PM

The former chancellor made the pledge during a radio interview.

21 July 2022

Rishi Sunak has said “one of the first” things he would do as prime minister is appoint an independent ethics adviser.

The post is vacant after Lord Geidt dramatically resigned in June, accusing Boris Johnson of proposing a “deliberate” breach of the ministerial code.

Lord Geidt said he had been narrowly clinging on to his role over partygate but ultimately quit after being forced into an “impossible and odious” position by the Prime Minister over steel tariffs.

Downing Street partygate
Lord Christopher Geidt in 2015 (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

He was the second ethics adviser to resign during Mr Johnson’s tenure as Prime Minister.

Speaking on Tonight With Andrew Marr on LBC, former chancellor Mr Sunak said: “I definitely will reappoint an independent ethics adviser and it will be one of the first things I do.”

Asked if he would bring back Lord Geidt, he said he “probably” would because he thought he did a good job.

“I haven’t spoken to him about it so I don’t want to put him in an awkward position,” he said.

Mr Sunak, who faces Liz Truss in the Conservative leadership contest, told the radio programme: “Restoring trust is at the heart of what I want to bring to the job and one of the first things I will do is make sure that we put in place the structures and the accountability like you’re talking about so that all of you listening can have faith that the system will work, and if people are not behaving in the way they should be, that there will be proper accountability for that.

“And having an independent ethics adviser is obviously critical to doing that.”

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