Sharon Hodgson MP

Washington & Gateshead South Constituency

ECHO COLUMN: This is not what integrity, professionalism and accountability look like.


A Tory PM - This is not what integrity, professionalism and accountability look like.


100 days ago, Rishi Sunak stood in Downing Street and promised integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level of Government, however like most Tory promises it hasn’t taken long for them to be broken.

The PM is a record breaker - picking up his second police fine as a serving Government Cabinet Minister; at the same time, he denied, dithered, and delayed the inevitable in sacking Nadhim Zahawi for breaching the ministerial code for failing to declare that he was under investigation for his tax affairs.

What does rule breaking get you, a prison sentence or a court hearing?  No, chairmanship of the Tory party.

By conveniently delegating the problem to his independent ethics adviser, Sunak once again followed in the footsteps of his Tory predecessors, as he tried to pull the wool over the public’s eyes.  This feeble attempt to fool the public demonstrates not just hopeless weakness but intransigent arrogance.

In his letter to the disgraced former Chancellor Sunak, stated that he sacked Zahawi for a serious breach of the ministerial code but it seems to be a flip of the coin for the PM with standards; he reinstated Suella Braverman just six days after she was found to have broken the ministerial code, while his deputy prime minister remains in a job despite 24 bullying complaints made against him by those who have had to work under him.

When will the Prime Minister crack down on the culture of cronyism and corruption his party have let fester?

The answer is - he won’t.

Bad apples do not fall far from the tree, and it seems the Tory tree is rotten to its root.  Under his premiership he has nurtured this environment of corruption and cronyism.  At the same time the Prime Minister turns a blind eye to a Conservative donor failing to declare a conflict of interest when interviewing the Tees Valley Mayor’s wife for a public regulator role.

I know constituents are tired of the stench of Tory sleaze and corruption invading public office.  It is an infestation that needs to be eliminated.

Labour has a plan to clean up Conservative sleaze in Westminster and beyond. Increased transparency, ending most second jobs for MPs, establishing an Independent Integrity and Ethics Commission and anti-corruption commissioner, shows an incoming Labour Government is serious about raising standards in UK politics.

Only a Labour Government with an elected, professional and accountable Prime Minster can offer a fresh start from Tory sleaze and scandal.

See this article in the Sunderland Echo >

Sunderland Echo website >

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