Tories support discrimination and division in rejecting bid to improve MPs’ behaviour

Say what you want: Boris Johnson’s Tories have stamped on a bid to make MPs conform to principles of anti-racism, inclusion, diversity and respect. What does that tell us about them?

The Conservative government has rejected a proposal to change MPs’ code of conduct in line with a principle of “respect”.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised; they seem to respect few things other than money and power.

They have rejected calls by the Commons Standards Committee that would mean MPs “should demonstrate anti-discriminatory attitudes and behaviours through the promotion of anti-racism, inclusion and diversity”.

It doesn’t actually mean they want to promote racism, exclusion and blind obedience – but it does appear to mean they won’t oppose it if MPs exhibit those traits during debates.

I wonder how long that will last, if non-Tories exploit the openings this presents?

A separate committee on Standards in Public Life has already updated the Seven Principles of Public Life – also known as the Nolan principles – to include the demand that all public officials “treat others with respect”, to counter “increasing intimidation and abuse”.

But 10 Downing Street chief of staff Steve Barclay and chief Tory whip Mark Spencer rejected the idea of incorporating this into the wider MPs code.

They said in a joint statement: “We would not want to stifle legitimate debate on politically contentious issues which are important to our democracy… This could have a chilling effect on free speech on contentious and polarised political issues.”

Expect the Tories to play on this as much as they can, just to rub it in everybody else’s faces.

Source: Tories reject move to stamp out ‘discriminatory attitudes’ in Commons as attack on MPs’ free speech

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