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Ex-officials criticise limited remit of Boris Johnson’s new standards adviser

Adviser cannot commission inquiries and PM retains power to exonerate himself and ministers

Boris Johnson will retain power to quash investigations and exonerate himself and ministers despite the appointment of a new standards adviser, it has been revealed, sparking high-level criticism from former top civil servants.

Those who told the Guardian it was improper for Johnson to control who is investigated included the former head of the civil service Bob Kerslake and the former government legal chief Jonathan Jones.

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