Humiliating U-turn by Tories
Originally published by Babergh South Suffolk Liberal Democrats
When the Tory supporting Daily Mail runs the front page headline " MPs sink back into sleaze" and even the Daily Star runs " Sleazy does it" you know the government is in trouble
When Lord Evans, chair of the independent committee on standards in public life, said this morning the "extraordinary proposal [was] deeply at odds with the best traditions of British democracy", adding it "cannot be right this was accompanied by repeated attempts to question the integrity of the commissioner on standards herself "you could feel political pressure increase.
The governments blatant attempt to change the rules on punishment for serious misdemeanours by Owen Patterson was something we covered yesterday. It was frankly outrageous - "one rule for us and none for them" as one critic memorably said.
The widespread condemnation of the decision to try to change the process part way through an investigation and the refusal of all opposition parties to participate in a re-writing of the rules has forced a humiliating climbdown. Downing Street has confirmed a new vote will be held, probably next week, that will let MPs decide on whether to suspend Owen Paterson over his lobbying and, at the same time, abolish the new standards committee created just yesterday by Andrea Leadsom's amendment.
You have to ask yourself why the Prime Minister gave his support and whipped MPs to support the attempt to save Mr Patterson in the first place
Byline Times this week, identified that several of the 59 Tory MPs who signed the original pro-Paterson amendment to the suspension motion have second jobs worth more than £1m a year in total. Six of the 59 also had allegations against them upheld by the standards commissioner in the past 12 months. The Prime Minister himself is under investigation still over the funding of his flat refurbishment
Or it may simply be with its huge Commons majority the Conservative Party feels it does not have to worry about maintaining standards of behaviour and probity. We have had the Prime Minister ignoring proven bullying by his Home Secretary, Robert Jenrick losing a court case over allowing a development that favoured a Tory donor and Dominic Raab being promoted to deputy PM after ignoring warnings about the fall of Kabul, choosing to go on holiday rather than seeking ways to help evacuated Afghans who had helped us fight the Taliban
It genuinely is hard to recall a more incompetent and sleazy government over the past 50 years