Tuesday, 3 July 2018

MP Finds George Osbourne's behaviour over BlackRock And Evening Standard Job, Worrying.

Ronnie Cowan Sir Bernard Jenkins Baroness Browning

Ronnie Cowan of the Scottish Nation Party spoke out in parliament about worrying impropriety of former Chancellor George Osborne. In a debate about the Thirteenth Report of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, he said:

"As Sir Bernard Jenkin mentioned, the situation with George Osborne has been particularly worrying. That the former Chancellor of the Exchequer has been taken on as an adviser to the BlackRock Investment Institute on a salary considerably in excess of his previous salary as Chancellor, in a sector that he was responsible for regulating, seems to show little care for even the appearance of propriety among Ministers. 

"That the body that was supposed to be regulating the revolving doors between Government and industry had to hear that he had accepted a high-profile position as editor of the Evening Standard in the news, without him having consulted them or waited for clearance, shows that the system is broken. 

"That the president of BlackRock could tell investors that there is no way of knowing whether Mr Osborne will draw on (or disclose or use for the benefit of yourself or the organisation to which this advice refers) any privileged information that he gained from his time in Government shows that this is an absolute mockery.

"As the hon. Member for Harwich and North Essex said, the ACOBA chair, Baroness Browning, said to the Committee:
Every bus driver and hairdresser you know should apply for any of those jobs. I can tell you factually, not one applied.”

Sir Bernard Jenkins called on the government to;
considered the Thirteenth Report of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, HC 252, Managing Ministers’ and officials’ conflicts of interest: time for clearer values, principles and action, on the role and effectiveness of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACoBA); 

notes that ACoBA regulates applications for business appointments by former Ministers and civil servants who have recently left the public sector; 

he believes that ACoBA is an ineffectual regulator which fails to inspire public confidence or respect; 

expresses concern that the Committee’s inquiry revealed numerous gaps in ACoBA’s monitoring process with insufficient attention paid to the principles that should govern business appointments; 

agrees that failures of consecutive governments to address ACoBA’s deficiencies have damaged public trust in politics and public institutions and led to repeated scandals; 

calls on the Government to bring forward major reform by introducing a principles-based system to ensure that individuals act with integrity and behave according to those principles; 

and further calls on the Government to fund independent checks by ACoBA across all Government departments and executive agencies to reinforce those principles.


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