In November last year, the UK Parliament’s Committee on Standards in Public Life issued a report on “Upholding Standards in Public Life,” prepared by the former Director-General of MI5.1 The Committee grew concerned when the UK’s credit rating was downgraded by Moody’s, in October 2020, which had cited a “weakening in the UK’s institutions and governance.”
Surveying public perceptions, the report found that the British public rated Members of Parliament and government Ministers most negatively on perceptions of integrity, honesty, selflessness, and openness. Some 66% of those surveyed reported believing that these public servants were “too easily influenced by the rich and powerful.” Nearly half questioned whether these government officials sought to act in the public interest at all. “Such figures are perhaps to be expected,” the report reads, “in the immediate aftermath of the Greensill Capital lobbying scandal.”2
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