Boris Johnson is treating voters with open contempt

Editorial: It’s not about the prime minister’s new settee, it’s about reassuring the voters that integrity matters in politics

Tuesday 27 April 2021 21:30
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<p>The rules on transparency and disclosure of interests are there for a reason</p>

The rules on transparency and disclosure of interests are there for a reason

T

he prime minister’s characteristic response to allegations of incipient corruption at the top of the government is that “no one gives a monkey’s” about the stories, and therefore, he implies, why should the media or, indeed, he care about them?

The answer, even if it were true that the electorate is indifferent to such unethical behaviour, is that the British people should not be governed in this way. It is not simply a matter of Boris Johnson and his fiancée having their sensitivities assaulted by having to cuddle up on the Mays’ lightly used pink settee, nor whether the services of Lulu Lytle represent value for money for the taxpayer (who did stump up at least some of the cost). It is a simple matter of the prime minister being beholden to someone, presently unknown, for the loan (or effectively gift) of tens of thousands of pounds.

The rules on transparency and disclosure of interests are there for a reason, and that is to help ensure that politicians and especially ministers act in the public interest and not of their own or those of their friends and associates.

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