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Rishi Sunak expected to face Plaid Cymru call for law against lying in politics

28 Oct 2022 3 minute read
Rishi Sunak picture by No 10 Downing Street (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

New Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to face a Plaid Cymru MP’s call for a law against lying in politics today.

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP, will today attempt to win MPs’ approval of her Bill to ban lying in politics.

Ms Saville Roberts’ Elected Representatives (Prohibition of Deception) Bill is set to receive its Second Reading in the House of Commons today, if parliamentary time allows.

The Plaid Cymru MP will say that despite promising to restore “integrity and accountability” to the office of Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak has continued the “pattern of deception set by his predecessors”.

Boris Johnson is currently being investigated by a Commons committee over whether he misled MPs when talking about parties in Downing Street during lockdown. The Privileges Committee plans to start taking evidence in public sessions before the end of November.

However, Plaid Cymru pointed to what they said was signs of continued dishonesty under Rishi Sunak’s government, particularly around the case of the re-appointment of Home Secretary Suella Braverman.

Rishi Sunak said at PMQs on Wednesday that Suella Braverman herself raised the issue of her security breach which led to her resignation, while ex-Tory Party chair Jake Berry said on Talk TV that evidence was put to her, and she accepted the evidence. 

‘Lies’

Liz Saville Roberts MP said that current mechanisms are not sufficient to hold politicians’ words to account.

“Rishi Sunak began his premiership promising to restore integrity and accountability to the office of Prime Minister,” she said.

“Boris Johnson’s lies ranged from parties at Downing Street to poverty levels in Britain, while Liz Truss’ brief tenure saw an economic project based entirely on lies.

“It took one day for that promise to collapse, with Sunak reappointing a Home Secretary forced to resign for blatantly breaching the Ministerial Code. The Prime Minister claimed at PMQs that Suella Braverman herself raised the issue of her security breach, while ex-Tory Party chair Jake Berry claims that evidence was put to her, and she accepted the evidence. 

“Someone isn’t telling the truth. But sadly, the House’s mechanisms to hold politicians to account are sorely lacking.

“My Bill would change that, by requiring any politician found to have written or spoken a falsehood to correct the record. Failure to do so or repeated use of a lie would lead to sanction: a fine, loss of the Whip, or for significant offenses, removal from office.

“200,000 people have signed Compassion in Politics calling for the Bill’s introduction, while three quarters of the public agree that the law is needed, according to a recent Opinium survey.

“The public are with us, as are many politicians. This bill represents the values of truth, honesty, and respect. If the UK Government also believes in those values, they will back my proposal.”


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Andrew Robinson-Redman
Andrew Robinson-Redman
1 month ago

Once again we hear that LSR wants Politicians that lie to face criminal prosecution.That is admirable but when there has been a proven case of senior Plaid Politicians lying,NOTHING was done to correct that wrongdoing. All politicians of every political persuasion MUST be held to the same standards. If not then the demands of LSR will be seen as political point scoring.

George Atkinson
George Atkinson
1 month ago

Plaid have been pushing this for decades. Before she was even leader in Westminster.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

If this attempt is unsuccessful it means that MPs agree that lying is okay.

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Does anyone think that politicians DON’T think lying is okay? It’s seen as a job skill.
Possibly their ONLY job skill

Last edited 1 month ago by Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Philip Davies
Philip Davies
1 month ago

This is fundamentally a moral issue. Integrity should be a matter of the individual conscience. Serious mendacity is already generally dealt with by criminal law when a person lies to gain personal advantage by means of the material or reputational loss of another. For example, in cases respectively of fraudulent deception and libellous or slanderous falsehood. However, Plaid seems bent on creating complete transparency in political speaking and in the conduct of political affairs. In the inevitable rough-and-tumble of an adversarial system, any such legalistic attempt cannot hope to survive. Politicking is, to an inevitable degree, a slippery business. Obfuscation,… Read more »

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
1 month ago

I have a comment now ‘Awaiting for approval’ [sic.]. I have no idea why my reasonable and polite views on this matter should be considered problematical. Such moderation usually presages the oblivion of unwelcome opinions. If this comment ever appears, I will of course be grateful – and pleasantly surprised, moreover.

Kenneth Vivian
Kenneth Vivian
1 month ago
Reply to  Philip Davies

Should not have been approved for reasons of inarticulate windbaggism.

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
1 month ago
Reply to  Kenneth Vivian

*windbaggery.
But disagree. It’s a good post

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
1 month ago
Reply to  Philip Davies

It does seem to be a pretty arbitrary sanction. It’s probably down to an automated review of your post for typically verboten words, or words typically used in a provocative way, which is then referred to a human moderator for final clearance.
This is the system we have. Sometimes you just have to be patient (and to hope that you get one of the fair moderators reviewing it)

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
1 month ago

Tories will vote THAT down for certain

Last edited 1 month ago by Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
George Atkinson
George Atkinson
1 month ago

I would get sacked at work for lying. So should they.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

Many MPs will be reluctant to support this Bill as the press will make it very hard for them in the future. They’ll have to become more honest – not an easy trait for many of them.

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