'Would I lie to you?': Boris Johnson and lying in the House of Commons

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Abstract

A prerequisite of ministerial accountability in the UK is the provision of accurate information by ministers and the prime minister to parliament. This form of 'informatory accountability', and the expectation that ministers and the prime minister will not lie to parliament, is at the core of parliamentary government. Yet, Boris Johnson's premiership, characterised by a general propensity to mislead, to misinform, to tell untruths and to lie openly, has led to growing concern within Westminster at the PM's proclivity to speak untruths in the Commons with seeming impunity. A study of the period from July 2019 to December 2021 examines the paradoxes and procedural problems that arise when the presumption that a prime minister will not lie or utter deliberate falsehoods in Westminster is upended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-86
Number of pages10
JournalPolitical Quarterly
Volume93
Issue number1
Early online date11 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • UK Parliament
  • accountability
  • parliamentary government
  • Boris Johnson
  • prime minister

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