UK’s Sunak appoints first ethics chief since Johnson’s tenure

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UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has appointed an ethics adviser for the first time since Boris Johnson’s own accountability chief quit over the former premier’s conduct six months ago.

Laurie Magnus, chair of Historic England, was installed as Sunak’s Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests, the government said Thursday.

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His predecessor, Christopher Geidt, quit in June following a string of scandals overseen by Johnson and just weeks before the premier himself was forced to step down.

“I have been clear that I expect the government I lead to have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level,” Sunak wrote in a letter to Magnus.

The prime minister faced growing pressure to fill the vacancy, which plays a key role in holding ministers accountable for their conduct in office.

Magnus he will prioritize the scrutiny of declarations of interest made by ministers. The prime minister said he will retain the existing terms of reference, suggesting Magnus has not been given any additional powers.

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