New corruption offence aimed at public servants

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Bribe-taking public employees and councillors could be among those ensnared by a proposed law designed to combat corruption. The new offence, set out in a consultation paper from the Law Commission, would cover corrupt transactions involving a range of individuals who could be described as agents for, or owing a duty to, other individuals.

An example could be a public servant, responsible for awarding council contracts, who accepted a bribe in return for favouring a particular contractor. A local councillor who arranged for an applicant to be granted planning permission in return for a bribe would also be caught by the new offence. Judges and police officers would also be subject to the law.