Arrogance at the heart of Mr Johnson's administration says former Tory PM
Originally published by Babergh South Suffolk Liberal Democrats
'Shameful, wrong and unworthy of this or indeed any government', says Sir John Major
"Un-Conservative" and "perhaps politically corrupt". "I think the way the government handled that was shameful, wrong and unworthy of this or indeed any government. It also had the effect of trashing the reputation of parliament."These are the words of Conservative ex-Prime Minister talking yesterday on Radio 4 after a week in which Boris Johnson shamelessly tried to do away with rules stopping corruption and mis-behaviour amongst MPs, only to change his mind when confronted by opposition to his plans to re-write the rules by appointing a Tory dominated review committee.
Sir John, whose own government in the 1990s was undermined by sleaze rows, said: "When that happened I set up the Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life to stop it, which has been a huge success."Over the last few days we have seen today's government trying to defend this sort of behaviour.
"Sleaze is unacceptable, was unacceptable when I was there, and I suffered a great deal of pain and anguish over it."It's unacceptable today, and it needs to be stopped."
He went on to suggest: "There is a general whiff of 'we are the masters now' about their behaviour." "Whenever they run up against difficulties with anybody - whether it is the Supreme Court, the Electoral Commission, the BBC, they react not with an understanding, not with trying to placate what has gone wrong, but actually in rather a hostile fashion.
It is perhaps not surprising that just 22 per cent of Britons now believe the Prime Minister to be "clean and honest" down from 30 per cent in April. according to the latest poll from Opinium
Responding to Sir John Major's comments: Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:
"John Major is simply saying what millions of lifelong Tory voters are thinking: Boris Johnson's Conservatives no longer represent them.
"This week's scandal is just the latest in a long string of attempts to undermine our democratic traditions and shared values of decency, honesty and transparency.
"Right across former Conservative heartlands in the Blue Wall, people are sick of being taken for granted by a government mired in sleaze and corruption."
The Tories are now facing some uncomfortable by-elections in Bexley and Sidcup and in North Shorpshire where the Lib Dems are closing in on a Tory Party on the back foot and an incompetent Prime Minister mired in allegations of sleaze.