Press release 03rd Jun 2009

Politics: UK's Most Corrupt Sector

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The latest worldwide opinion poll exploring citizens’ views and experiences of corruption reveals disturbing findings for the UK, a country often considered squeaky clean.


3 June 2009 - The 2009 Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) published today (3 June) by Transparency International (TI), the global anti-corruption watchdog, documents the public’s experience of bribery and their perception of corruption across key sectors of British public life. More than 1,000 UK adults were polled by TNS-global in late November 2008 for their views.

The Barometer reveals the extent to which key sectors of British public life – and politics in particular - were seen to be tainted by corruption before the peers-for-sale and MPs’ expenses scandals came to light.

From political parties, parliament and the civil service to resources-resources-business, the media and the courts, UK citizens gave their highest corruption rating to political parties. On the TI corruption scale of 1 to 5 - where 1 denotes ‘not at all corrupt’ and 5 ‘extremely corrupt’ – political parties scored 3.6.

But the reputations of British resources-resources-business and the media aren’t much better. They scored a close second to political parties, with a 3.5 rating. Parliament scored 3.3, making it the sector third most affected by corruption in the public’s eyes.

On a more positive note, the public rated the judiciary the least corrupt sector in British public life with a score of 2.8.

Commenting on the findings Chandrashekhar Krishnan, Executive Director of Transparency International UK, said:

"The UK must now lay to rest its historical complacency over corruption. It is clear that there is corruption in the UK as elsewhere. And – as the MPs’ expenses scandal shows – corruption is uncomfortably close to the heart of the British establishment.

"It’s important now to understand how why and where corruption occurs in the UK. That’s why Transparency International UK is embarking on the first ever, in-depth research into corruption in the UK. We’ll be reporting our findings and recommendations next year."

Information on the worldwide findings of the 2009 Global Corruption Barometer are available here