Letter: MPs need to show more than just blind loyalty to the PM

The qualities needed for leadership are many and varied.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 8:00 pm

Some, such as integrity and honesty, may be regarded as universal. Boris Johnson in his careers in journalism and politics, has failed to display either of these qualities.

He flouts the procedural codes of office by repeatedly failing to declare personal interests. I feel Johnson’s laissez-faire attitude extends to some of his colleagues who seem to have been encouraged to believe that there is no behaviour so dishonourable that it would lead to their dismissal from office.

Examples of this include Priti Patel who was found guilty of breaching the ministerial code for bullying civil servants, but still remains in office; Dido Harding who, having overseen the debacle that was the test-and-trace system, is seriously being spoken about as being the next boss of NHS England; and Gavin Williamson, whose time in charge of the education system is almost beyond belief.

One reader feels Boris Johnson lacks the qualities needed for effective leadership.
One reader feels Boris Johnson lacks the qualities needed for effective leadership.

Blind and unswerving loyalty matters far more in high office than competence and integrity and honesty.

Johnson leads a government whose ministers appear to see their position as an opportunity to pursue personal gain rather than serving the people who elected them.

Johnson, for all his shortcomings, is no fool. He wants to remove the power of the Electoral Commission to prosecute MPs who break the rules.

We are all required to adhere to the rules; it is the hallmark of a civilized society and an acknowledgement of our collective responsibilities, one to another.

Some MPs will be tempted by money. To quote Theodore H White: “The flood of money that gushes into politics today is a pollution of democracy.”

It would be foolish in the extreme if we were to allow this situation to continue. I suggest readers write to Sarah Dines MP and ask her to use her voice to prevent Johnson from pursuing this.

Ed Runham

Two Dales

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