The Prime Minister has written to Lord Evans to outline changes to the role of the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests, following the announcement of the appointment of Lord Geidt to the role.
The Adviser will now have the authority to advise the Prime Minister confidentially on the initiation of investigations, and the Adviser’s conclusions will be publicised in a timely manner. The Adviser will also provide confidential recommendations about the appropriate sanction in the circumstances where it is determined that a Minister has failed to adhere to the standards set out in the Ministerial Code.
Lord Geidt has also been appointed for a non-renewable five-year term.
These changes are reflected in the amended Terms of Reference for the Independent Adviser.
Lord Evans’ reply to the Prime Minister welcomes changes made to the Adviser’s terms of reference, but notes that the Adviser will still lack the authority to initiate investigations. The Committee will consider how far the new arrangements provide the degree of independence and transparency that it believes is necessary as our Standards Matter 2 review progresses.
The Prime Minister’s letter is in response to Lord Evans’s initial letter of 15 April, which outlined the Committee’s recommendations on the role of the Adviser.