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Dominic Kavakeb
dominic.kavakeb@transparency.org.uk
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News has broken that Rebekah Brooks has been cleared of all charges in the phone-hacking trial, and Andy Coulson was found guilty of conspiring to hack phones. This is an outcome of one of the most significant corruption scandals in recent years – but what next?

It has been a year of ups and downs for combatting corruption in the UK. Scandals in several institutions showed that corruption is a much greater problem than recognised and highlighted the UK’s continued complacency to corruption’s insidious threat. However, there have been some successes in the fight against corruption this year, giving hope for continued progress in 2013. Here’s a rundown of some of the best and worst of 2012.

Press freedom is fundamental to the fight against corruption in many countries. However, our 2011 report on Corruption in the UK highlighted concerns over concentration of media ownership and corruption in politics and the police. Read our thoughts on what the new system should look like.

Revelations emerging from the Leveson Inquiry this week have suggested that some UK politicians fail to see the risks of close relationships with the media, and are not able to maintain the safeguards that are essential to ensuring integrity.

Claims of UK police bribery are usually shocking enough on their own to elicit a strong reaction. Recent allegations, however, that bribes were paid to members of London’s Metropolitan Police Service Anti-Corruption Unit shock deeper still.

As the phone hacking scandal escalates, more and more evidence is emerging highlighting undercurrents of corruption that are embedded in our media, police, and political institutions. The relationship between media ownership and the UK political establishment has come under particular scrutiny over the past few days.

This afternoon the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, has confirmed that documents supplied to the police contain evidence that journalists working for the News of the World made ‘inappropriate payments’ to police officers in exchange for information.

Yesterday, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers suggested to the Leveson inquiry that some sections of the press have been making regular payments to a network of corrupted public officials.

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