Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Mr Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden) (Con): Given that the role of the adviser on the ministerial code is purely to advise the Prime Minister on whether a Minister’s actions are in breach of that code, and not to investigate or establish the facts of those actions, is it not sensible to allow the Leveson inquiry to establish the facts and, in the unlikely event-in my view-that it discovers that there is a prima facie case to answer, then to refer it to the independent adviser on the ministerial code?

    The Prime Minister: My right hon. Friend is entirely right. It is worth examining for a second what would happen if the independent adviser was commissioned to set off down a process of factual discovery. He would have to look at all the information that is about to be provided and is being provided to the Leveson inquiry, which would literally duplicate the findings of fact and would literally be prejudging what the judge himself will be judging.