Ministerial code should apply to leaders of new political parties like Alex Salmond, Lib Dem MP claims

The ministerial code should apply to leaders of new political parties like former first minister Alex Salmond, a Lib Dem MP has claimed.

Jamie Stone is calling on the UK Government to extend the code to ensure new leaders are held to account over things such as payments from overseas governments.

It comes a week after the Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross MP labelled the leader of the Alba Party an “unwitting pawn” of Russia because of his chat shown on RT, formerly Russia Today.

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Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Stone asked: "I wonder, does the Secretary of State agrees with me that a version of a ministerial code should apply to the leaders of new political parties who might possibly be receiving payments from the arms of overseas governments who don't hold dear to their heart the best interest of the United Kingdom?

Alba leader Alex Salmond would be subject to the ministerial code under the Lib Dems proposals
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His question appeared to then be supported by Michael Gove.

The senior minister replied: "I don't want to embarrass the Honourable Gentleman too much by saying that almost every time he asks a question or makes a point in this House of Commons, I think how lucky his constituents are to have him as their Member of Parliament and I think, even though we disagree on many issues, he puts his finger on an important point of public scrutiny this time as people decide how to cast their votes."

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Now Mr Stone has claimed doing so is vital to halt corruption.

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He said: "It is absolutely mind-blowing that Alex Salmond is allowed to continue working for a Kremlin-backed 'news' station when standing for election to Holyrood.

“Mr Salmond is tangled up in a clear conflict of interest, which our constitution should not allow.

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"If the Conservative Government are serious about 'taking back control', then they need to take action to halt corruption in all its guises – from David Cameron's dodgy lobbying record to Alex Salmond's pay cheques from Putin's pals at Russia Today.”

Last month Mr Salmond refused four times to say whether he believed Russia was behind the Salisbury poisonings.

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In 2019, RT was fined by Ofcom for a "serious breach" of impartiality rules.

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