Yesterday’s evidence from Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers revealed that payments made by Sun journalists to a wide range of public officials were periodic, regular, and often substantial. These payments cannot be justified as being made in the public interest. They appear to have been made corruptly in order to gain an unfair advantage over other journalists who did not think it necessary to pay bribes to sell news stories. Bribery is a criminal offence which should be punished. It cannot be tolerated in UK society.
Last year Transparency International UK published a comprehensive report which found that the growing threat of corruption in the UK is often met with denial, and that key institutions are refusing to confront the problem.
Chandu Krishnan, Executive Director of Transparency International UK, said “These revelations confirm that it is time for our society to wake up to the fact that corruption is a problem which needs a zero tolerance approach from all UK sectors. Complacency is no longer an option.
“Far from having a chilling effect on journalism, the Leveson Inquiry should be a spur to ethical reforms in those sections of the media, police and government where currently there is a substantial deficit in governance and ethics.”
Notes to editors
In 2011 Transparency International UK published Corruption in the UK, the most extensive study into UK corruption ever undertaken. The report examines 23 sectors and concludes that key institutions are refusing to confront the problem.
Transparency International UK is the UK chapter of the world’s leading non-governmental anti-corruption organisation. With more than 90 chapters worldwide, Transparency International has extensive global expertise and understanding of corruption.