Keir Starmer responds to PM's comments over sleaze row
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A new poll has found that nearly half of the people who voted for the Conservative Party at the 2019 election do not believe that the Government acts with integrity. This comes amid the simmering Tory sleaze row, which saw allegations of sleaze directed at Mr Johnson’s Government after Tory MPs voted against a 30-day suspension for fellow Conservative MP Owen Paterson, despite it being recommended by the MPs’ watchdog.
A Survation poll for campaign group 38 degrees found that 49 percent of Tory voters now doubted the party’s principles.
Meanwhile, 56 percent of Leave voters and 66 percent of pensioners surveyed believe that the Government lacks integrity.
The recent polling also saw 55 percent of the public say that the Prime Minister lacked leadership.
Just 32 percent of respondents believe that he actively demonstrated leadership.
Mr Paterson was found guilty of breaching parliamentary lobbying rules for his second job.
Speaking about the issue, strategic director of 38 Degrees Ellie Gellard said: “Trying to rig the rules, scandals over second jobs and big money in politics has ended with half of Tory voters saying this Government doesn’t uphold values of integrity, or honesty.
“With such an abysmal verdict on standards in public life now in, we are long overdue a meaningful cleanup – including banning MPs from being paid to consult companies while they’re on the taxpayer’s clock.”
The dip in ratings comes despite Mr Johnson’s attempts to move on from the row.
At a press conference on Sunday, the Prime Minister admitted that he could have “handled” the issue better, saying: “Of course, I think things could certainly have been handled better, let me put it that way, by me.”
He later admitted that Mr Paterson had broken the rules, saying: “I think it was a very sad case but I think there’s no question that he had fallen foul of the rules on paid advocacy as far as I can see from the report.
He added: “I’ve accepted that it was a mistake and that it was my mistake.
“All we wanted to do was to see whether – in view of the particular and frankly tragic circumstances of the case – there was any scope, cross-party agreement, on an appeals process.”
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However, he has declined to apologise for the scandal.
This comes as Labour recorded their first poll lead over the Tories since January in the wake of “sleaze” allegations directed towards the Conservative party.
In a recent Opinium poll for the Observer, the Labour party recorded their first poll lead over the Tories since January, with Labour polling at 37 percent support – putting them one point ahead of the Tories.
Up to 73,000 people signed an open letter to 38 Degrees calling for an end to MPs being paid as consultants.
Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg admitted the Government made a “mistake” by defending Mr Paterson after he breached MPs’ lobbying rules.
This came as the Government U-turned on controversial plans to reform Parliament’s standards committee.
MPs voted unanimously on Tuesday to scrap the plans, which would have allowed MPs to make broad sweeping changes to the system governing standards for MPs.
Survation interviewed 4,014 people between November 11 and 15, 2021.
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