Ethics Adviser “Found No Evidence” Spencer Broke Ministerial Code with Ghani Sacking mdi-fullscreen

The Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests Sir Laurie Magnus has concluded Mark Spencer and the whips office did not break the Ministerial Code over the sacking of Nus Ghani in February 2020, following Ghani’s complaint that she had been let go because of her Muslim faith. The inquiry into Ghani’s allegations was launched by Boris around a year ago, with Magnus’s predecessor Lord Geidt initially in charge prior to his resignation. Laurie Magnus picked up the pieces following his appointment in December.

In letters between Magnus and the PM published today, Magnus concludes that while “there are procedural and pastoral lessons to be drawn from [his] investigation”, the “shortcomings” in Spencer’s response to the probe don’t amount to a clear breach:

My overall conclusion from this investigation is that what should have been an open and trusting conversation between colleagues instead became a significant disagreement which was escalated to the then Prime Minister and, 18 months later, reported in the media. I do not believe, when considered with the inconclusive evidence from the first two parts of this investigation, that the shortcomings identified in Mr Spencer’s response to Ms Ghani’s concerns amount to a clear failure to meet the standards set out in the Ministerial Code. However, there are procedural and pastoral lessons to be drawn from this investigation which should be considered by those engaged in handling ministerial appointments and dismissals in future.”

Magnus adds “it is not possible to conclude absolutely that such comments [about Ghani’s faith] were not made, but I have found no evidence.” Apparently, Ghani and Spencer have “very different” recollections of what happened. Given the lack of evidence, Rishi has confirmed in his response letter that no further action will be taken.

UPDATE: Ghani responds:

“Sir Laurie’s report is very clear that my evidence was credible and ‘consistent’. I’m relieved that the report acknowledges that the previously denied 4th March 2020 meeting did take place and was central to the matter, as well as that Twitter statements were published ‘without evidence’. There is no criticism or doubt expressed regarding my version of events. Others will have to explain the report noting the ‘omissions’, ‘shortcomings’, ‘incomplete information’, ‘inaccurate briefings’ and claims ‘implied without evidence’ in their actions and story. We all serve at the Prime Minister’s choosing and there is no shame in a political career ending. But to be told your faith and identity is the reason for it cannot be acceptable in any way.”

Read both letters below:

Magnus’s letter:

Rishi’s letter:


mdi-tag-outline Standards
mdi-account-multiple-outline Laurie Magnus Mark Spencer Nus Ghani
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