It is being rumoured in the media that Andy, the Prime Minister, has been appointing people to money- making public office in return for political and (especially) financial support. The recent appointment of Grant- who has no known experience or talent for the job- as chief controller of Her Majesty’s paperclips ( easy work, but with a huge salary) has caused especial public outrage.
The Committee for standards and Privileges (‘the Committee’) decide to investigate. They summon Grant to attend a meeting to be questioned about his appointment, and also summon Aryan, a civil servant in the Department of Constitutional Affairs, who apparently had some role in checking Grant’s suitability for the post.
Grant sends a text message that he is “too busy doing real work” to attend the Committee’s meeting. Andy allows Aryan to attend, but then orders him not to answer any questions except about his name. Aryan does this so well that Andy arranges for him to be selected to fight a safe Government party seat at the next General Election- to the fury of the Committee.
Meanwhile, Government backbenchers have been denouncing the Committee in Parliament, the newspapers and in the TV studios as “pen-pushing pin-headed poltroons”. Other Government backbenchers claim in debates in the House of Commons that half of the Committee’s members used to take bribes from the Opposition when they (the Opposition) were in power.
What, if anything, can the Committee lawfully do about all this?
May I translate the question as follows:
"I have been asked a question in the course of my exams to which I do not know the answer and I can’t be bothered to do the research. Can someone do it for me and then I’ll pass your answer off as my own by some suitable tweaks?"