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Plaid Cymru MP to introduce law at Westminster to ban deliberate lying from politics

28 Jun 2022 3 minute read
Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts. Picture by UK Parliament / Jessica Taylor.

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP, will today introduce a Bill to Parliament with the aim of banning deliberate lying from politics.

In a speech in the House of Commons, she will call on MPs to “defend democracy, serve the public, and protect the basic standards by which we should all live”, by supporting her Bill.

Plaid Cymru’s Bill would make it an offence for politicians to wilfully lie to the public. Arbitration would be carried out under the same procedures already used to determine whether a business or corporation has intentionally mis-sold or misled, they said.

Repeated offences would be sanctioned with a fine or, ultimately, disqualification from standing for election for up to 10 years.

Ahead of the introduction of her Bill to Parliament, Liz Saville Roberts MP said: “Each day now brings with it more deception, dishonesty, and duplicity from the highest levels of government.

“Lies have been told to win elections, spread hate, and evade scrutiny.

“The consequence has been the withering away of public faith in democracy and the trashing of common values: according to a survey by the think-tank Compassion in Politics the number one value that voters believe is absent in our politics is that of honesty.

“Our choice as their representatives is either to obfuscate rambunctiously while faith in democracy crumbles or act in the name of those we are meant to serve. That is why today I will bring before parliament a Bill that, if passed, would make it an offense for politicians wilfully to lie to the public.”

‘Defend democracy’

Plaid Cymru pointed to a poll undertaken by Opinium for the thinktank Compassion in Politics reveals that the public are concerned about the lack of honesty in UK politics, with 53% citing dishonesty from politicians as a concern, and 63% wanting to see more honesty in politics.

The same poll found that 73% of people support Liz Saville Roberts’ Bill, including 71% of Conservative voters and 79% of Labour supporters.

Liz Saville Roberts added: “No institution is indelible, no power irrevocable. Systems and structures that were once seen as immortal have perished and been forgotten. We cannot allow our parliamentary democracy – and the values on which it is built – to go the same way.

“Honesty is not only the best policy – it is essential to the creation of policy.

“Many people in public life are concerned by the state of our politics. Many have spoken out – although others have been silent till now.

“That doesn’t matter. What matters is what we do next. It’s time to work together, cross-party, to defend democracy, serve the public, and protect the basic standards by which we should all live.”

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price, as MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr in 2007, first introduced an Elected Representatives (Prohibition of Deception) Bill in order to hold Tony Blair accountable for using misleading information to justify the Iraq War.


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Gareth Westacott
Gareth Westacott
5 months ago

We have very few ‘nationalist’ politicians, and therefore their time and efforts should be focussed on issues which are directly damaging to Welsh interests. The more time they waste on fringe issues like this means less time spent on fighting for Welsh identity, the Welsh language, homes for Welsh people, on limiting holiday homes, for a tourist industry which actually benefits Welsh people, defending Welsh family farms, etc, etc.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
5 months ago

The point is not to make lying illegal but to get the Tory party on record as refusing to make lying in parliament illegal.
A bit like last night’s vote to break international law is on record for Stephen Crabb, James Davies, Sarah Atherton, Alun Cairns, David TC Davies, Fay Jones, David Jones, Robin Millar, Jamie Wallis and Craig Williams who all voted to break the law, launch a trade war and impoverish their constituents.
The present Tory slide into Fascism is more important than all you mention and must be resisted.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago

This is the foundation stone of a healthy society and not a ‘fringe’ issue, all the other issues fall down without honesty between those who govern as much as our relationship with partners, friends and those we do business with…good luck Liz…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

For a start Liz tell us about CWMNI EGINO…

Mick Tems
Mick Tems
5 months ago

I stand with MP Liz – the appalling Johnson must be the worst liar in the whole of the galaxy.

Andrew Redman
Andrew Redman
4 months ago
Reply to  Mick Tems

You should ask the Leader of Plaid why he did NOT call for the Plaid Leader of Carmarthen County Council, to be held to account for misleading the executive Board and Councillors. ALL politicians that lie should be treated the same, regardless of party affiliation.

Phil
Phil
4 months ago

She’s not introducing a law, she’s introducing a Bill

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