Lord Pickles, as chair of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, has just reminded ministers and their advisers of their obligations under the ministerial code to keep them informed of all the commercial ventures they choose to involve themselves in.
The avaricious Boris Johnson was almost certainly on Pickles’ mind as he spoke, but also, no doubt, Dominic Cummings, the former prime minister’s one-time sidekick. Cummings has still to get around to telling the committee what he’s been up to since his departure from Downing Street, even though Pickles himself asked the Cabinet Office more than a year ago about the “various services” he noted Cummings had been offering subscribers for payment via a blog hosted on Substack.
Lord True, the former minister of state at the Cabinet Office, has belatedly responded to Pickles, saying: “My assessment is that Mr Cummings, in this and other matters, did not follow the rules correctly.
“However, this case has also highlighted that once the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments has decided not to rule on an application, there is no mechanism for an individual to seek to remedy that breach in good faith.”