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Who’s the Champion now?

Written by Robert Barrington on Monday, 14 July 2014

Ken Clarke was the UK Anti-Corruption Champion. Really. In the September 2012 re-shuffle, the government seemed to forget that it had a Champion, and it took several weeks, a Parliamentary Question, a letter to the Secretary of State, and a couple of contradictory responses, before the Champion emerged.


Ken Clarke was the UK Anti-Corruption Champion. Really. In the September 2012 re-shuffle, the government seemed to forget that it had a Champion, and it took several weeks, a Parliamentary Question, a letter to the Secretary of State, and a couple of contradictory responses, before the Champion emerged.

The Champion has no plan, or targets, or known terms of reference, or responsibilities for reporting or accountability. But it is potentially a very important role. In the absence of an Anti-Corruption Agency, the government needs a senior figure who is responsible for this critical area. That is why the Champion was appointed in the first place. Since the appointment a decade ago of the first Champion, Hilary Benn, the role has had a patchy record. It is a role that should encompass both domestic corruption and the UK’s international footprint, as well as the interface between corruption in the UK and overseas, most notably through the role of London as a centre for providing global corruption services. That means it does not fit easily in any one ministry.

This government has said more about corruption, and the need to tackle it, than any UK government in the modern era. That is greatly to its credit. With the announcement of the first ever UK National Anti-Corruption Action Plan apparently imminent, we need to know:

Who is the Champion?

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Read 6112 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 11:47
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Robert Barrington

Robert is TI-UK's Executive Director. You can view his full bio here, and tweet him @TIukED.

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