Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Feb 29, 2024

UK Is Not Corrupt, Says Boris Johnson As Parliament Engulfed In Sleaze Row

UK Is Not Corrupt, Says Boris Johnson As Parliament Engulfed In Sleaze Row

Parliament's standards watchdog had determined Conservative Owen Paterson committed an "egregious case of paid advocacy" by using his position to promote two firms that paid him.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday he did not believe Britain was a corrupt country, as parliament was embroiled in a growing scandal over lawmakers being paid for external work which may have breached its rules.

The question of members of parliament (MPs) having second jobs has come under renewed scrutiny over the past week, after Johnson's government sought to change parliamentary conflict-of-interest rules to protect a colleague threatened with suspension.

Parliament's standards watchdog had determined Conservative Owen Paterson committed an "egregious case of paid advocacy" by using his position to promote two firms that paid him.

While Paterson ultimately resigned, Johnson's handling of the affair badly damaged party morale, and several leading names in the party are now under the media spotlight.

"I genuinely believe that the UK is not remotely a corrupt country nor do I believe that our institutions are corrupt," Johnson said during a news conference after a speech to try to convince leaders to go further in their pledges at the U.N. climate conference in Glasgow.

"What you've got is cases where, sadly, MPs have broken the rules in the past, may be guilty of breaking the rules today. What I want to see is them facing appropriate sanctions."

While Johnson has a majority of 77 seats in parliament, he is also facing pressure from a cost-of-living crisis as inflation rises, and a renewed bout of hostilities with Brussels over Northern Ireland that could damage trade ties.

CONSTITUENCY CASEWORK


Newspapers reported Conservative Geoffrey Cox, a former attorney general, used a proxy voting system set up to accommodate lawmakers working at home during COVID-19 to take part in votes from the British Virgin Islands, where he was advising its ministers in a corruption inquiry initiated by Britain's Foreign Office.

The Register of Member's Financial Interests, where lawmakers have to declare external earnings, shows Cox is paid hundreds of thousands of pounds a year for his legal work.

While carrying out external work is allowed, the Times newspaper published a video on Wednesday which appeared to show Cox taking part in a legal hearing from his parliamentary office, an apparent breach of the rules.

Opposition Labour Party deputy leader Angela Rayner described it as "a brazen breach of the rules and an insult to taxpayers" and said she had written to the Commissioner for Standards asking her to investigate the allegations.

In a statement, Cox's office said he always ensured his constituency casework was given primary importance and he had been advised by the Chief Whip, responsible for party voting, that his use of proxy voting was appropriate.

It said he would cooperate with any investigation. "He does not believe that he breached the rules but will of course accept the judgment of the Parliamentary Commissioner or of the Committee on the matter," the statement said.

Johnson declined to comment on individual cases when asked about Cox, but said those who were not putting the interests of their constituents first should face punishment.

The furore is reminiscent of the 1990s when Conservative Prime Minister John Major's government was hobbled by allegations of sleaze.

Britain's political establishment was similarly rocked in 2009 when a national newspaper published details of lawmakers' expenses, revealing widespread misuse which sparked public anger and led to some politicians going to jail.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
×