(London) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on Wednesday, came to the rescue of a parliamentarian threatened with sanctions for his lobbying activities by initiating a review of the rules, which prompted accusations of “corruption” by the opposition.
As his party grappled with a recent scandal highlighting the dangerous ties between power and business, Boris Johnson said it was “wrong” to engage in paid lobbyists in the House of Commons.
He wants to change the rules
But he supported amending the rules to allow any member questioned to defend himself and appeal if necessary.
The case began with an investigation by the Parliamentary Standards Committee that concluded that MP and former Conservative minister Owen Patterson had repeatedly pressured ministers to defend two firms for which he had served as a paid consultant.
Believing this was a “flagrant” violation of lobbying rules, the committee recommended a 30-day suspension of membership of Parliament.
But the MP appealed the decision, saying the process was “biased” and “unfair”.
His allies from the conservative camp introduced an amendment in the House of Commons on Wednesday, demanding that his case be reconsidered and a review of the system of rules governing MPs.
Deputies narrowly adopted the amendment, receiving 250 votes to 232 against, prompting cries of “shame” in the opposition.
“Rotten to the core”
Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner accused the Conservatives of being “corrupt to the core” and “changing the rules” when it suits them.
“Today, the Conservatives voted to give the green light to corruption,” El-Sayed denounced.I Rayner announced that his party would not participate in a new committee to review the regulations.
Rather than punishing a member of Parliament for gross violations of the rules, which were identified through a thorough and independent investigation, the government party chose to simply remove the rules. It is extremely harmful to trust in our democracy and the rule of law.
Daniel Bruce, managing director of the UK’s anti-corruption NGO Transparency International.
In the spring, former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron’s lobbying activities for bankrupt finance company Greensell caused major political and financial turmoil in the UK.
The case has prompted regular accusations of favoritism against the Conservative government.
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