Kwasi Kwarteng apology to standards chief 'sparked by ministerial watchdog'

Kwasi Kwarteng apology to standards chief 'sparked by ministerial watchdog'
Kwasi Kwarteng apology to standards chief 'sparked by ministerial watchdog'

Kwasi Kwarteng apologised for suggesting the Commons standards commissioner should quit after an intervention from the ministerial watchdog, it was revealed today.

Boris Johnson said his 'collaboration' with the adviser on ministerial interests Lord Geidt sparked the Business Secretary's letter saying sorry for his remarks.

The comments came as the PM gave evidence to the powerful Liaison Committee, made up of committee chairs from across parties. 

Mr Johnson repeatedly batted away calls for Lord Geidt to be able to initiate investigations into ministers without his approval.

But he stressed that the peer had been having an impact by referring to his part in the grovelling apology Mr Kwarteng last week. 

'The process by which the letter was generated was one that included collaboration between me and Lord Geidt,' he said. 

Mr Kwarteng was widely criticised for suggesting the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards should consider her position in the wake of the Owen Paterson row.

It was Ms Stone's investigation that found the then-Tory MP breached the Commons code of conduct by lobbying ministers and officials for two companies paying him more than £100,000 per year.

Kwasi Kwarteng (pictured) apologised for suggesting the Commons standards commissioner should quit after an intervention from the ministerial watchdog, it was revealed today

Kwasi Kwarteng (pictured) apologised for suggesting the Commons standards commissioner should quit after an intervention from the ministerial watchdog, it was revealed today

Kathryn Stone

Lord Geidt

Boris Johnson said his 'collaboration' with Ministerial Adviser Lord Geidt sparked the Business Secretary's letter saying sorryto Kathryn Stone (left)

As the Government came under intense criticism for its ultimately botched attempt to overhaul the standards system to protect Mr Paterson from suspension, Mr Kwarteng said it was 'difficult to see what the future of the commissioner is'.

But in a letter sent to Ms Stone and copied to Lord Geidt he later said: 'Having seen how my remarks have been interpreted, and reflecting on them, I recognise that in answering the question that was posed to me I should have chosen my words more carefully,' the minister wrote.

'I did not mean to express doubt about your ability to discharge your role and I apologise for any upset or distress my choice of

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