NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

UK Is Not Corrupt: Boris Johnson As Parliament Engulfed In Sleaze Row.

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

"I genuinely believe that the UK is not remotely a corrupt country," said Boris Johnson (File)

London:

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.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Related news
Nightly News Full Broadcast - Nov. 26

Nightly News Full Broadcast - Nov. 26

The WHO calls new Omicron strain a ‘variant of concern’ as the U.S. adds travel restrictions, Lester Holt interviews Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Russia denies involvement in alleged Ukraine coup plot. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NB...

Radio City Rockettes Make Emotional Return To The Stage.

Radio City Rockettes Make Emotional Return To The Stage.

The Radio City Rockettes are making an emotional return to the stage after last year’s Christmas Spectacular was canceled due to the pandemic. NBC News’ Joe Fryer introduces us to some of the group’s newest members. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watc...

Larry Elder: This is the only reason Kamala Harris became Vice President.

Larry Elder: This is the only reason Kamala Harris became Vice President.

Radio show host Larry Elder joins ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ to discuss how Vice President Kamala Harris checked the far-left boxes to become VP. Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) i...

Top Story with Tom Llamas - Nov. 26 - NBC News NOW

Top Story with Tom Llamas - Nov. 26 - NBC News NOW

New omicron Covid-19 variant identified in South Africa, concerns over possible post-Thanksgiving coronavirus surge, holiday shopping season poised to break sales records.  » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a col...

Investors concerned over 30-year high inflation rate.

Investors concerned over 30-year high inflation rate.

The Dow is suffering its worst day this year, and the new COVID-19 variant is on route to threaten the global economic recovery.

Gutfeld: He lied about helping a homeless veteran

Gutfeld: He lied about helping a homeless veteran

'Gutfeld!' panel reacts to New Jersey man pleading guilty to wire fraud in GoFundMe scam #FoxNews #Gutfeld Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news ser...