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Surprising view on Tory sleaze .

November 9, 2021 8:57 PM
Originally published by Babergh South Suffolk Liberal Democrats

98bb"Un-Conservative" and "perhaps politically corrupt". "I think the way the government handled that was shameful, wrong and unworthy of this or indeed any government. It also had the effect of trashing the reputation of parliament."These are the words of Conservative ex-Prime Minister talking yesterday on Radio 4 after a week in which Boris Johnson shamelessly tried to do away with rules stopping corruption and mis-behaviour amongst MPs, only to change his mind when confronted by opposition to his plans to re-write the rules by appointing a Tory dominated review committee.

Sir John, whose own government in the 1990s was undermined by sleaze rows, said: "When that happened I set up the Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life to stop it, which has been a huge success."Over the last few days we have seen today's government trying to defend this sort of behaviour.

"Sleaze is unacceptable, was unacceptable when I was there, and I suffered a great deal of pain and anguish over it."It's unacceptable today, and it needs to be stopped."

He went on to suggest there was an arrogance at the heart of Mr Johnson's administration

"There is a general whiff of 'we are the masters now' about their behaviour." "Whenever they run up against difficulties with anybody - whether it is the Supreme Court, the Electoral Commission, the BBC, they react not with an understanding, not with trying to placate what has gone wrong, but actually in rather a hostile fashion.

It is perhaps not surprising that just 22 per cent of Britons now believe the prime minister to be "clean and honest" down from 30 per cent in April. according to the latest poll from Opinium

Responding to Sir John Major's commentsLiberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:

"For a former Conservative Prime Minister to describe this government as being politically corrupt is frankly astonishing and a damning indictment of the Tories under Boris Johnson.

"John Major is simply saying what millions of lifelong Tory voters are thinking: Boris Johnson's Conservatives no longer represent them.

"This week's scandal is just the latest in a long string of attempts to undermine our democratic traditions and shared values of decency, honesty and transparency.

"Right across former Conservative heartlands in the Blue Wall, people are sick of being taken for granted by a government mired in sleaze and corruption."