DIARY: Scrutinising the ethics of politicians, inside and outside Government

The revolving door between public affairs and the Government has provided plenty of examples over the years of people switching jobs and frequently taking useful information with them.

The revolving door between public affairs and the Government has

provided plenty of examples over the years of people switching jobs and

frequently taking useful information with them.



Martin Le Jeune, head of corporate ethics at Fishburn Hedges took this

principle one stage further last week as he gave evidence on behalf of

trade body APPC to Lord Neill’s committee on standards in public

life.



Before joining FH, Le Jeune served four years as assistant secretary to

the very same committee, choosing witnesses and drafting the reports

that put fear into the hearts of politicos across Westminster.



So how did he feel about this table-turning situation?



’Strange. I found myself in the odd position of giving evidence to my

old boss. I feel a certain human sympathy for the witnesses, which I

didn’t feel at the time.



’Although the committee members are very nice, they are also very sharp

and you have to be careful what you say to them,’ he says.



This autumn sees the publication of Neill’s latest report, focusing on

standards of behaviour in the recently reformed House of Lords.



Le Jeune predicts the committee will side with him, taking the view that

a broadly similar set of rules should govern the work of peers as exist

already for MPs.



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