LABOUR leader Keir Starmer has pledged to clean up politics and ‘crack down on cronyism’. Responding to the Opposition leader’s pledge, Duncan Hames, Director of Policy at Transparency International UK, said: “We welcome Keir Starmer’s commitment to restore standards in public life, placing service at the core of his party’s offer.

“All politicians need to confront the role Westminster politics has played in damaging trust in democracy domestically, and the country’s reputation globally. It will take firm action, dismantling systems of patronage, allowing greater transparency and increasing accountability even to begin to rebuild public confidence in British politics.”

To clean up politics and genuinely crackdown on cronyism, Transparency International UK has called for:

  • Restrictions on MPs taking second jobs and a ban on former ministers lobbying government for five-years after leaving office. This would help prevent private interests from unduly influencing public policy or unfairly securing government contracts.
  • A cap on the size of any political campaign donations to take the big money out of politics. This would prevent politicians being indebted to a small number of wealthy donors, who often enjoy privileged access or end up with a seat in the House of Lords.
  • A comprehensive register of the lobbying of our politicians. Too often, lobbying happens behind closed doors, until a scandal erupts. This would enable public scrutiny of how decisions are reached on their behalf.
  • A truly independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests empowered to initiate their own investigations. Too often, senior politicians face few or no consequences for bad behaviour bto ecause the watchdog tasked with enforcing standards answers to the Prime Minister. This would help bring proper accountability for ministers who break the rules and would restore much-needed credibility to a role intended to ensure ministers operate with integrity.

* Source: Transparency International UK