Jacob Rees-Mogg shrugs off Plaid Cymru bid for a debate on lying in politics
Jacob Rees-Mogg has shrugged off a bid by Plaid Cymru for a debate on what can be done to stop politicians lying.
The request was made by Arfon MP Hywel Williams after Jacob Rees-Mogg said on Channel 4 news last night that “very few people lie in public life”.
Plaid Cymru have called for a law to stop politicians from deliberately misleading the public. A motion tabled by Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts MP on 13 January 2022 in support of a new law to the same effect has so far gained the support of 32 MPs.
Signatories include the Westminster leader of the SNP Ian Blackford, the leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, and Labour MP Dawn Butler.
The latter was ordered to leave the Commons chamber in July 2021 after refusing to withdraw remarks accusing Boris Johnson of being a liar.
During Business Questions in the House of Commons, Hywel Williams asked for a debate on lying in politics.
“Yesterday, the Leader [Jacob Rees-Mogg] said that in his experience, ‘very few people do lie in public life’. Well, very few people indulge in burglary but the law is there to deal with them,” he said.
“My party has longstanding proposals to strengthen Parliament’s ability to hold politicians to account when they deliberately lie. So can we have an early debate on lying in politics?”
Jacob Rees-Mogg responded to say that lying was not a clear cut offence.
“What people say politically is a matter of continual political debate – it is what we do in this Chamber,” he said.
“People have different opinions one way or another and when people disagree they often make accusations that are more aggressive than the facts bear out.”
Current Plaid Cymru party leader Adam Price first called for a law to stop politicians lying when he was n MP in 2017, introducing the Elected Representatives (Prohibition of Deception) Bill.
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