Hugh Kay Lecture: Standards in Public Life - Are we in a Post-Nolan age?

11 Nov 2020 | 17:00 – 18:30 | Online

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This winter, as we face a resurgence of the Coronavirus pandemic and Britain finalises its trading arrangements with the European Union, the UK government will make a series of decisions critical to the future of UK businesses. 

The Seven Principles of Public Life  guide how such decisions should be made. Selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership - these principles, first set out by Lord Nolan in 1995, should guide all public office holders and providers of public services as they navigate tricky waters. The principles ensure a political environment that is predictable, trustworthy, and stable, all of which is essential for business to function.

But in recent months and years, some commentators have questioned  whether we are in a 'Post-Nolan' age . Do our political leaders still apply  the principles that have underpinned public service for the past 25 years? What do public standards mean today? And at such a time what can the advocates of public standards learn from the world of business ethics, and vice versa? 

In this year's Hugh Kay Lecture, Lord Evans of Weardale, Chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, will discuss whether we really are in a Post-Nolan world, and make the case for the value of public standards and business ethics in these extraordinary times. 



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