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