Matt Hancock 'immediately associated with the word 'sleaze'', survey finds
- Credit: PA
West Suffolk MP and former health secretary Matt Hancock is among the politicians "immediately associated with the word 'sleaze'", a survey conducted for a parliamentary watchdog has found.
The poll of 1,590 people, which was conducted on behalf of the Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL), went on to add that Mr Hancock was seen as not possessing "the core values expected from political leaders" by respondents.
The anti-corruption body found participants were "visibly angry as they recounted the strict pandemic rules they had to follow, which they believed were disregarded by various politicians who subsequently faced few or no consequences".
It singled prime ministers Boris Johnson and David Cameron out for criticism alongside Mr Hancock.
In total, 41% of people felt ministers' standards of conduct were quite low or very low, compared with 24% who felt they were quite or very high.
For MPs the figures were even worse. Just 20% of people surveyed felt that MPs' standards of conduct were quite or very high, while 44% felt they were quite or very low.
Polling also found that 43% of people felt standards had become worse.
- 1 Matchday Recap: McGreal's Town beaten at The Valley
- 2 First case of Omicron confirmed in Suffolk with 16 more suspected
- 3 Trio jailed as travellers' site shooting described as 'like a movie scene'
- 4 Karaoke noise complaints prompts fear Grade II pub could close
- 5 Fallen trees block Suffolk roads as Storm Barra batters region
- 6 'Emotions are high' - McGreal on ugly scenes following Charlton loss
- 7 Pub transformed into 'breathtaking' family home for sale for almost £1m
- 8 'Selection is down to the manager' - Town CEO Ashton on Norwood's absence
- 9 Charlton boss Jackson on Bonne's 'point to prove', Addicks' interest in Pigott and Cook's sacking
- 10 Battle of the caretakers, good omens and McGreal's possible rejig... Charlton v Ipswich
The survey was published on Monday, along with a report from the CSPL that recommended tougher sanctions for politicians with "poor ethical standards".
It added: "Participants spontaneously recalled examples of public procurement contracts during Covid being awarded to friends of MPs and ministers."
The committee also found there was "an underlying sense of resignation, bordering on cynicism" that politics would never be entirely ethical, but that improvements could still be made.
In his foreword to the main report, CSPL chair and former MI5 director-general Lord Evans said: "From the evidence we have taken during our review it has become clear that a system of standards regulation which relies on convention is no longer satisfactory."
He added: "The arrangements to uphold ethical standards in Government have come under close scrutiny and significant criticism in recent months.
"Maintaining high standards requires vigilance and leadership. We believe our recommendations point to a necessary programme of reform to restore public confidence in the regulation of ethical standards in Government."
A Cabinet Office spokeswoman said the report would be carefully considered.