Prime Minister refuses to back Plaid Cymru’s proposals for a law against lying in politics
Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP called on Boris Johnson to support her party’s proposal for a law against lying in politics during Prime Minister’s Question today.
Following a series of political scandals a new poll shows a significant erosion of public faith in UK politics, with over 47% of the UK public saying they have lost faith in politics and politicians over the last twelve months.
The polling carried out by Opinium on behalf of the think-tank Compassion in Politics also showed a large majority of those questioned would support the introduction of a law which would require politicians tell the truth.
Speaking in the House of Commons, the MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd said: “Plaid Cymru have been calling for 15 years for a law to ban politicians from being wilfully misleading.
“New polling by Compassion in Politics shows that 73% of people support such a law.
Will the Prime Minister support a lying in politics bill?”
Boris Johnson replied: “It is well known that the rules of this House demand that we tell the truth in this House and that’s what we try to do.”
In April Last year the Prime Minister said he agreed with the “basic principle” of Plaid Cymru’s Bill but after reports of Partygate and Boris Johnson’s lawbreaking emerged, he declined to correct his previous answer when asked by Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams MP in January.
Following the exchange today, Ms Saville Roberts said: “People are rightly furious about this Prime Minister’s conduct – and at the fact that the archaic rules of this place stop us from accurately describing it.
“The Westminster political system is utterly incapable to hold liars like Boris Johnson to account. A system based on honour cannot work when the Prime Minister has none.
“Boris Johnson’s answer showed just how out of touch he is with public opinion. Given that 73% of people support our proposals, it is now time for the Prime Minister to show some humility and deliver.”
The co-director of Compassion in Politics, Jennifer Nadel, added: “We need politicians who are open, honest, and transparent. Politicians who respect the public and are committed to serving them. If the current system is not producing that level of leadership, the system needs to change.
“Our proposal – to make it a requirement that politicians are honest with the public – would apply the same rules to Westminster that already exist for businesses, doctors, teachers, and many other workplaces.
“Why should there be one rule for us and another for politicians? It isn’t fair and, self-evidently, it isn’t working. Over 200,000 people have now signed our petition calling for such a law. Our politics has already sunk as low as it can go thanks to the repeated use of lies, mistruths, and misrepresentation – it’s time someone threw it a lifejacket.”
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