HC Deb 01 March 1988 vol 128 cc497-8W
Mr. Cryer

To ask the Prime Minister what is her policy towards the appointment by a Minister of a special adviser(a) who is employed by a political lobbying firm with interests in that Minister's departmental policies and decisions, (b) whose employers are currently under investigation by that Minister's Department for possible illegal conduct and (c) whose employers are paid advisers to companies whose activities are the subject of investigation by that Minister's Department in relation to possible illegal conduct; and if she will make a statement.

The Prime Minister

Special advisers are civil servants, and their terms of appointment are similar to those of other civil servants; apart from certain exceptions which reflect the special nature of their role they are subject to the same rules of conduct (including paragraph 9870 of the Civil Service code which sets out general principles of conduct). They are required to avoid conflicts of interest between their business affairs and their work in a Department. It is for each Minister to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to avoid such conflicts arising.

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