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UK drops down global corruption index after string of scandals | UK news

The UK has plummeted into the global corruption rankings after a report warned of “regrettable shortcomings” in maintaining political integrity.

The UK slipped seven places to 18th in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, the biggest drop among the G7 countries.

The report was released two days after Rishi Sunak fired Tory Party chairman Nadhim Zahavi after his tax affairs came to light, including that he had paid a fine to HMRC.

Qatar, Russia and Brazil were among the leaders of the list of 180 countries and territories, which is used by analysts and investors as a global benchmark.

Britain’s reputation has been damaged by a series of political scandals among the Conservative Party. The country had three prime ministers in 2022, Boris Johnson left after Partygate, and there were scandals, including the behavior of Conservative MP Chris Pincher.

The report says that there is a “growing list of problems” in the UK. It talked about making lucrative contracts for the supply of protective equipment with people associated with conservatives, including fellow conservative Michel Monet. It also highlights the appointment of people with political connections to positions in the public sector during the pandemic.

Transparency International noted government efforts to help Conservative MP Owen Paterson avoid an ethics investigation at the end of 2021. But the global anti-corruption organization said some “steps in the right direction” had been taken, such as Sunak’s appointment of a new ethics adviser in December. .

“If the government is truly seeking to restore trust in politics, it needs to rethink how the standards and behavior of elected representatives are regulated in order to stop the slide,” the study says.

Qatar, which has come under fire for its treatment of workers ahead of the World Cup, has dropped nine places to 40th. Denmark, Finland and New Zealand remained at the top of the list, while Somalia, Syria and South Sudan were at the bottom.

Russia, which invaded Ukraine last February, ranked 137th, and the report says a system of “kleptocrats” receiving fortunes in exchange for loyalty to Vladimir Putin meant that the Russian leader’s actions had little to no control.

The actions of former President Jair Bolsonaro and his supporters damaged the reputation of Brazil. Transparency International said he was responsible for “dismantling anti-corruption structures” and created a system of “corruption schemes” to bolster support.

Supporters of Bolsanaro, who was replaced by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, stormed government buildings earlier this month. On Monday it became known that Bolsanaro had filed a request for a six-month visitor visa to stay in the United States.

Hungary replaced Bulgaria as the lowest-ranked EU member state, dropping four places to 77th.

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