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How to fix government sleaze

As the latest string of scandals shows, we should not allow Boris Johnson to mark his own homework

By Jill Rutter   June 2021

Illustration by Ian Morris

The prime minister sets the rules. The prime minister chooses the person to advise on the rules. The prime minister decides whether to ask that person to investigate a breach, and whether to publish the “independent” adviser’s report. He then decides if any consequences should follow.

Even the dopiest algorithm could spot that this is a rickety defence against sleaze. When the PM himself is someone a former party colleague labels a “vacuum of integrity,” your system for ensuring ministers behave in a proper way is far from solid.

And that’s not the only aspect of the…

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