Cabinet’s ‘non-denial denial’ of investigation into May’s #Brexit ethics #GE17

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As the SKWAWKBOX covered on Sunday, Theresa May is said to be under investigation by the Cabinet Office’s ‘Propriety and Ethics’ team in relation to her ‘declaration of interests’ about her husband’s investment banking role and the profits his firm stood to make from Brexit. The Code of Conduct for Ministers requires disclosure of anything that might even appear to be a conflict of interest:

Ministers must ensure that no conflict arise, or appears to arise, between their public duties and their private interests.

Byline‘s excellent article yesterday revealed that the investigation appears to centre on alleged vagueness in May’s declaration about the exact nature of her other half’s role at the firm, which she excused in the declaration by stating that disclosing the exact nature of his job,

would involve unjustifiable intrusion into the private affairs not only of Ministers, but of their close family.

However, Mr May’s role means that he could potentially have made huge sums of money for his firm by investing based on decisions made by his wife – which at the very least appears to be a very large conflict of interest.

Later yesterday, Byline updated their article with a statement by the Cabinet Office that is more interesting for what it doesn’t say:

The Prime Minister has declared in full her interests and the interests of her husband. There is no conflict of interest.

Yes, as the saying goes, ‘they would say that, wouldn’t they?’ But what they do not say is “there is no investigation into Theresa May’s declaration“.

And it goes without saying that if they could say that – well, they would, wouldn’t they.

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