Plaid Cymru MP tables motion to make it an offence for politicians to deliberately lie following No 10 party revelations
Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP, has tabled a parliamentary motion calling for a law to hold politicians to account for lying.
The Early Day Motion, which has so far gained the support of MPs from the Labour Party, the SNP, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, the SDLP, Alliance, as well as Ms Saville Roberts’ Plaid Cymru colleagues, condemns the organisation of parties at Downing Street during lockdown and condemns the Tory Government for “lack of transparency” and a “reluctance to disclose attendance”.
Plaid Cymru, working with the think-tank Compassion in Politics, have proposed that a new law be introduced that would make it a criminal offence for politicians to deliberately lie to the public.
Speaking in light of fresh reports of two parties held in Downing Street on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral, Ms Saville Roberts said that “when the lies are so blatant, the statements so hypocritical, and the pain and loss of Covid lockdowns still so visceral, the public are right to demand Boris Johnson be held to account.”
Liz Saville Roberts said: “Enough is enough. Boris Johnson’s lies have gone too far and Westminster is incapable of holding him to account. We urgently need a specific criminal offence to stop liars from corrupting our politics.
“The Prime Minister has been allowed to lie his way through life, making fools of us all in the process. But when the lies are so blatant, the statements so hypocritical, and the pain and loss of Covid lockdowns still so visceral, the public are right to demand Boris Johnson be held to account.
“Our proposal would bring the rules that already regulate business into politics. It would require that public statements made by politicians are, to the best of their knowledge, factual and accurate, and would create a new and independent mechanism through which to challenge and hold to account those suspected of lying.
“I urge MPs from across the House to join our calls for a debate on a law to stop the lies as soon as possible.”
The push for the new law comes after Downing Sreet had to apologise to Buckingham Palace this morning for two staff parties in No 10 the night before Prince Philip’s funeral.
The gatherings, first reported by The Telegraph, took place on 16 April last year. The PM’s spokesman said it was “deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning”.
Matt Hawkins, Director of Compassion in Politics added that the revelations about parties in Downing St “point towards a real sickness at the heart of our politics”.
“For the sake of our democracy and the people it is meant to serve, we need urgent action to clean-up, reform, and substantially improve the standards, values, and ethics of our political system,” he said.
“That is why we are delighted to be working with Liz Saville Roberts and Plaid Cymru on this motion and on her efforts to secure a much-needed debate on reforming the rules of politics. We can’t have one system for our leaders and another for the rest of us.
“We can’t have faith in the decisions being made if we can’t trust the processes that led to them. I urge politicians to support this motion and to lead by example in creating a culture of respect, compassion, and honesty.”