Lib Dems propose independent sleaze and corruption inquiry

In the course of the government’s handling of the Owen Paterson case, calls have been made for an independent investigation into filth and corruption.

Witnesses would be required to provide evidence and the investigating body could obtain written documents according to the proposal put forward by the Liberal Democrats.

The party wants a statutory public inquiry to be tasked with uncovering the truth behind allegations of filth and making recommendations for reform, including the prospect of harsher sentences.

Former Conservative MP Paterson was confronted with an immediate 30-day suspension for an “egregious” violation of lobbying rules.

The government tried instead to block this punishment and support the creation of a Tory-led committee to re-examine the case while revising the standard system for MPs.

A backlash followed, which resulted in the government turning around and the resignation of Mr. Paterson as MP.

Tomorrow (Monday) there will be an urgency debate of up to three hours so that Members can discuss questions of norms.

Another proposal by Lib Dem provides that MPs who are investigated for violating parliamentary rules are excluded from participating in commons votes on disciplinary issues.

Liberal Democrats Editor-in-Chief, Wendy Chamberlain, who secured the urgency debate, said: “We need to ensure that those who have a legitimate interest in destroying Parliament’s anti-sleaze rules are not empowered to do so.

“Last week’s events were just the latest example of political nepotism and corruption, from seedy Covid contracts to Boris Johnson’s holidays secretly paid for by his wealthy donor friends. Time and again, government ministers have refused to properly investigate allegations of filth, failing to announce relevant meetings and donations, and attempting to manipulate the system to protect their own backs.

“We need an independent public inquiry with the powers and resources to get to the bottom of this conservative scandal.”

Ms. Chamberlain, who was a police officer for 12 years before becoming a MP, added: “People across the country who obey the rules are being abandoned by Boris Johnson’s Conservatives who believe the rules are for them just don’t apply.

“They deserve answers about who influences our policies, how taxpayers’ money is spent, and what is being done to hold those in power accountable.”

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