Norman Baker condemns Gordon Brown’s ‘take out the trash’* day

by Stephen Tall on July 22, 2008

The Guardian asks the question Is Gordon trying to bury bad news?, noting:

At 2pm on the day the House of Commons rises for a 75-day summer break, Gordon Brown will publish 10 written ministerial statements on everything from the gifts received by ministers to the guests entertained at Chequers at the public’s expense.

The move has prompted claims that the prime minister and his government – which is due to publish a total of 30 written ministerial statements today – has broken it own code of conduct and is attempting to “bury bad news” by deluging parliament with such a mass of information on the last day of term.

Paragraph 9.3 of the ministerial code of conduct, officially enforceable by the prime minister, states: “Every effort should be made to avoid leaving significant announcements to the last day before a recess.”

Norman Baker, the Lib Dems’ terrier-without-portfolio, isn’t impressed:

The prime minister has violated his own ministerial code of conduct 10 times in one day. It seems Gordon Brown is as addicted to spin and media manipulation as Tony Blair was.

“Today’s order paper shows 30 written statements being shoved out together, in clear violation of the rules.

“This is a clear attempt to bury bad news by releasing it all together just as MPs are breaking up for the summer recess. It is the same New Labour and the same old spin.”

* For the low-down on the popular etymology of ‘Take out the trash’ courtesy of The West Wing click here.