Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng apologizes after asking the future of Parliament’s sleaze investigator in Sky News interview | Politics news

A minister has apologized after sowing doubts about the future of parliament’s sleaze investigator in a Sky News interview.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has written to Kathryn Stone, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, to express his “regret” after he questioned whether she would remain in her role.

In his letter to Mrs Stone, sent 11 days after he made the comments, Mr Kwarteng admitted that he “should have chosen my words more carefully” as he defended the government’s actions over the Owen Paterson lobbying scandal.

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‘It’s hard to see what the future of the Commissioner is’

After Conservative MPs, encouraged by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, voted to stop Mr Paterson from being suspended from the House of Commons – as well as to revise Parliament’s standard rules – Mr Kwarteng had said it was “difficult to see” a future for Mrs Stone .

Ms Stone had recommended a 30-day exclusion from the Commons to Mr Paterson after she found out he had broken the lobbying rules over his £ 110,000 a year job for two private companies.

When Tory MPs rejected Stone’s recommendation in a Commons vote and saved Mr Paterson, Mr Kwarteng said he did not call for the Commissioner’s resignation.

But he added: “It is up to anyone where they have made a judgment and people have tried to change it to consider their position, it is a natural thing.”

Following a huge outcry, the government later reversed its decision to save Paterson from an immediate suspension and also scrapped its plan to set up a new Conservative-dominated committee to revise Parliament’s standard rules.

Photo by Kathryn Stone Posted by Linda Hu / Office Manager / Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
Kathryn Stone saw her recommendation for a Commons ban for Owen Paterson rejected

The Prime Minister has subsequently admitted that he could have “better” handled the quarrel over Mr Paterson, who has now left the Commons, and said that Mrs Stone should be allowed to continue with her job.

In his apology, Mr Kwarteng hinted that he may have “fallen short” in the Ministerial Act with his comments on Mrs Stone, revealing that he had also sent a copy of the letter to Mr Johnson’s independent adviser on ministerial standards, Lord Geidt.

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Labor has previously called on Lord Geidt to investigate what they described as Mr Kwarteng’s attempt to “bully” Mrs Stone.

“Having seen how my remarks have been interpreted, and after reflecting on them, I acknowledge that, in answering the question put to me, I should have chosen my words more carefully,” wrote Mr. Quartet to Mrs. Stone about her Sky News interview earlier this. month.

“I did not mean to express doubt about your ability to carry out your role, and I apologize for any inconvenience or disturbance my word choice may have caused.

“I recognize that it is the responsibility of ministers to adhere to the high standards of the Ministerial Act, including ensuring that our words are carefully selected and that we treat others with respect and respect.

“I therefore apologize if the words I used on this occasion have given the impression that they do not live up to these high standards.”

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Commons Speaker, has previously admonished Mr Kwarteng over his comments on Mrs Stone.

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