Parliamentry Sleaze

  • concocted by the British Media in the late 80s to early 90s after the perception that the Tory govt was riddled with corruption and hypocrisy.
  • Term revived in the late 90s with scandals such as Bernie Ecclestone's £1M donation to the Labour party in return for F1 to be allowed to continue to be sponsored by tobacco manufacturers.
  • Today it is mainly used in relation to sex scandals such as Brooks Newmark sending explicit images to a journalist via social media which forced him to resign.
  • It has also been used in the reporting of the expenses scandal which arose in 2008 and led to the prosecution of a number of MPs such as Labours Jim Devine.
  • Another sleaze scandal is cash for Questions and Cash for access, the latter of which is entirely above board.
  • cash for access usually happens at party conferences such as the 2014 Tory conference where £2500 could buy you lunch with David Cameron and dinner with George Osbourne.
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Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

  • established in 1995 to combat sleaze.
  • main role is to insure MPs stick to the code of conduct and oversee the register of members interests.
  • the first commissioner was sir Gordon Downey. He devoted a huge amount of attention to Cash for Questions.

the current commissioner is Kathryn Hudson whose non-renewable five-year term began on 1st January 2013

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Standards and privileges committee

  • established in 1985
  • consisted of 10 MPs who made recommendations to the house in relation to breaches of Parliamentary privileges.
  • the committee was replaced on 7th January 2013 by the Committee on Standards and the Committee on Privileges
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Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

  • announced by Herriot Harmon on 20th May 2009 to monitor the expenses scheme
  • in April 2010 they were given responsibility for setting MPs salaries.
  • it is worth noting that IPSA is not made up of MPs, unlike the previous body
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