Press Notice 27, Session 2005-06

13 March 2006

PASC to hear from former Cabinet Ministers

On Thursday 16 March PASC-the Public Administration Select Committee-will be taking evidence in public on its inquiry into Ethics and Standards from former Cabinet Ministers-Chris Smith and Tom King. The Committee will also be taking evidence from former Cabinet Minister and prolific diarist, Rt Hon Tony Benn.

The conduct of government is once again in the glare of publicity with the controversy over Tessa Jowell and the nomination of working peers. As former members of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, Lords Smith and King are well-placed to comment on how expectations have changed in the ten years since the Nolan Committee was established as an “ethical workshop” and what further changes may now be necessary.

Former special adviser, Dr Geoff Mulgan, has said that diary keeping is “corrosive” to good government. As an avid diary keeper whilst in public office, Mr Benn will be able to respond to this charge.

The evidence session will take place on Thursday 16 March in the Grimond Room, Portcullis House, London SW1.

10am Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury and Rt Hon Lord King of Bridgwater CH

approx 11am:  Rt Hon Tony Benn

Full details of the Committee’s inquiry can be found at


The Committee was nominated on 13 July 2005.  Its terms of reference are to examine the reports of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsmen, and to consider matters relating to the quality and standards of administration provided by Civil Service departments, and other matters relating to the Civil Service. The Membership of the Committee is as follows: Tony Wright (Chairman) (Lab) (Cannock Chase), Mr David Burrowes (Con) (Enfield, Southgate), Paul Flynn (Lab) (Newport West), Julia Goldsworthy (Lib Dem) (Falmouth & Camborne), David Heyes (Lab) (Ashton under Lyne), Kelvin Hopkins (Lab) (Luton North), Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) (Bridgewater), Julie Morgan (Lab) (Cardiff North), Mr Gordon Prentice (Lab) (Pendle), Grant Shapps (Con) (Welwyn Hatfield), Jenny Willott (Lib Dem) (Cardiff Central)

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