Boris Johnson’s Tory team has been branded a “hall of shame” after his ministers were accused of breaking the ministerial code a ridiculous 29 times under his leadership.
Labour said “rot and rule-breaking” had spread “through this Tory government to the very top”.
According to the Sunday Mirror, there are dozens of instances of ministers apparently breaking the rules – from failing to declare outside earnings to shady lobbying.
Johnson has been repeatedly accused of failing to discipline his ministers over rule-breaking. And earlier this month, he was accused of watering down the ministerial code to allow ministers to break it without resigning.
And the prime minister has blocked moves to allow his ethics advisor, Lord Geidt, to launch his own investigations into ministers’ bad behaviour.
‘Hall of shame’
Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said: “Boris Johnson is presiding over a hall of shame in Downing Street. This catalogue of sleaze and scandal shows the rot and rule-breaking that has spread through this Tory Government from the very top.
“The Prime Minister is now trying to rig the rules and lower the bar so he and his cronies can escape punishment for their wrongdoing just by pretending to be sorry.
“Labour has a plan to clean up politics and restore the standards in public life that this Prime Minister has dragged through the mud.”
The list of ministers’ alleged misdeeds includes the row over funding of Johnson’s lavish flat refurbishment – as well as Robert Jenrick’s decision to overturn a planning decision after texts were uncovered between him and a Tory donor developer.
It comes after a former minister warned Johnson is “on probation” and could still be removed from office if he fails to win back the trust of Tory MPs.
Lord Ian Duncan, who served in various ministerial posts under Theresa May and Johnson after he entered the House of Lords in 2017, said the prime minister “has a task to do” after 148 of his MPs voted in favour of his removal in a confidence vote on Monday, admitting the chances of the prime minister continuing for a long time were “slim”.
“He’s got a task ahead of him right now, he is on probation,” Lord Duncan told BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show.
“If he fails that probation, the Tory party will do what it always does with leaders who are not delivering – they will remove him.”
When asked if the prime minister was a “lame duck” as a result of Monday’s vote, the former MEP said: “He probably is in troubled waters.
“If you can make people, almost, forget what has happened over the last few months, then he has a slim chance of carrying on, but I would have thought that would be very slim.”
The Conservative Party, Lord Duncan said, was “quite mercenary” when it comes to removing party leaders they deem to no longer be up to the job.
“Over the past 20 years, when a leader has not been able to do what they were meant to do, the Tory Party don’t stab them in the back – they stab them in the face,” he said.
“If they’re not delivering – they are removed.”