Bad habits are leading to a Government of grifters, cronies and chisellers

Business of the House
1st July 2021

Kevin Brennan Labour, Cardiff West
Can we have a debate about ministerial bad habits? When I was a Government Minister, it was unthinkable that we would have conducted Government business on private email accounts and absolutely unthinkable that, as a Minister, I could have held 27 meetings with companies that were seeking Government contracts, resulting in £1 billion-worth of contracts being awarded, and that those meetings could have mysteriously disappeared from my diary for a whole 12 months. The Leader of the House likes quoting Dryden. I remind him that Dryden said, “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” These bad habits of Ministers in Government will lead to a Government of grifters, cronies and chisellers, and they have to stop.

Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons

I am not sure that email was invented when the hon. Gentleman was last a Minister, but perhaps it had come into its early stages. It is absolutely right that Ministers had meetings with people who were going to provide personal protective equipment. I refer him to what I said to the shadow Leader of the House, Thangam Debbonaire. It needed to be done urgently, the Opposition were encouraging us to do it urgently, and it was done urgently and effectively to ensure that supplies were brought in.