Suank reported to ethics adviser for utilizing authorities crest for ‘political rant’

Rishi Sunak has been reported to his own ethics adviser for a potential breach of the ministerial code after using government resources for a “politically charged rant”.

It comes after the PM delivered a speech on Monday – alongside a lectern bearing the official government crest – at the Policy Exchange think-tank. The Tory leader repeatedly tried to claim that Britain would be less safe with Keir Starmer and a Labour government would embolden Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

In a highly personal attack, he also accused the Labour leader of being “completely and utterly unprincipled” after welcoming ex-Tory MP Natalie Elphicke’s defection to Labour. Parts of the speech have already been redacted from an official transcript of the event on the government’s website for being overtly political.

In a letter to the PM’s Independent Adviser on Ministers’ interests Sir Laurie Magnus today, the Liberal Democrats said Mr Sunak may have broken the ministerial code. Despite it being a “political party speech”, the PM “spoke from behind a government lectern bearing the Royal Coat of Arms”, the part said.

Lib Dem Cabinet Office spokeswoman Christine Jardine said: “This appears to be a clear breach by the Prime Minister of the Ministerial Code, which states that: ‘Ministers must not use government resources for party political purposes’. I therefore ask you urgently to investigate the Prime Minister’s use of a government lectern for this party political speech. I look forward to hearing from you.”

She also told the Mirror: “Taxpayers should not have to fund the lectern he gives this from. Rishi Sunak must be taking the public for fools if he thinks that the speech he gave was anything other than a politically charged rant. The pathetic excuses he made for his own party’s failures will fall on deaf ears.

“The country has stopped listening to the Prime Minister and the Conservative party. They want a General Election and to finally see the back of this awful government that has trashed our NHS, let water companies off the hook, and has forced far too many to choose between heating and eating.”

Responding to the PM’s speech on Monday, Mr Starmer said: “The first duty of any government – particularly an incoming Labour government – is national security, the security of the country and that would be my first priority. The PM today has made a speech and I think it’s his seventh reset in 18 months. I think that really shows you that the choice as we go into this election is now pretty clear.

“It’s a choice between a changed Labour party that puts country first and the party second or continuing with this government, the chaos and division, that’s been going on for so long, caused so much hardship. We can’t afford another five years of this government’s chaos and division because there’s a cost to that.”

No10 has been contacted for comment.