British Prime Minister supported an overhaul of rules regarding lobbying activities of parliamentarians. This would have prevented a member from his Conservative party from being expelled from Parliament.
His intervention became a political scandal. Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, retreated from the decision to avoid sanctions on a member in his camp who had been implicated in lobbying.
« Corruption ». “Shame”. “Immorality.”Several British dailies criticized in the front page their support for a reform of rules governing lobbying by parliamentarians.
This maneuver was designed to give any MP involved the opportunity to defend and appeal and to prevent Owen Paterson (a member of his Conservative party) from being removed from Parliament.
The ethics committee of the Parliament had found that Owen Paterson had lobbyed ministers to protect two companies for whom he was a consultant.
Chris Bryant (Labor chairman of the committee) criticized ministers who changed rules to protect one among their own. It is a perversion and injusticeHe told BBC that he did, while Caroline Lucas (the only environmental MP) accused the government with executing maneuvers “Which reek hypocrisy?”.
“They started the week teaching the world to become more environmentally friendly while supporting new oil and gas projects in the North Sea, and now they are talking about “due process” while voting to help one of their own to escape sanctions ”, she told AFP.
“It is a government that is in fashion “do what i say, not what i do” therefore credibility in Britain and abroad is rapidly collapsing ”, she added.
The “Daily Mail”, a tabloid normally pro-Conservative, ran a scathing for the UK government, linking the Paterson case to a scandal in 2009 over MPs’ expense reports. This case, which arose just after the global financial crisis, had fueled public mistrust of politicians.
The government finally backed down on Thursday, saying the proposed reforms would not apply to Owen Paterson’s case. An urgent debate in Parliament will be held next Monday. “We recognize the strength of feelings”Boris Johnson’s spokesperson admitted that MPs were discussing the issue.
During the proceedings, the deputy declared his resignation to withdraw himself “From the cruel and dangerous world of politics”.