Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, February 27, 2015

Breaking news from the UK

Sometimes current events offer insight into government and politics.

British Tory MP to leave Parliament after lobbying sting
Conservative Party lawmaker Malcolm Rifkind quit Tuesday as head of the committee overseeing Britain’s intelligence services and announced his retirement from Parliament, after being caught in a hidden-camera sting appearing to discuss swapping political influence for money.

Rifkind, a former foreign minister and one of his party’s most senior lawmakers, called the allegations against him “contemptible.” But said he did not want the vital work of the Intelligence and Security Committee to be “distracted or affected by controversy as to my personal position.”…

Rifkind was caught in a sting along with former Labour Party foreign secretary Jack Straw, who was already planning to leave Parliament in May…

The return of corruption allegations is unwelcome for British politicians during a close-fought election campaign. The reputation of Parliament has been tarnished by previous cash-for-access scandals and by revelations several years ago that lawmakers had claimed taxpayer-funded expenses for second homes and items including porn movies, horse manure and an ornamental duck house.

UKIP’s support slips in polls before Britain’s May election
Support for the anti-EU UK Independence Party has slipped less than three months before a national election, following a slew of negative publicity, denting its hopes of winning more seats in parliament, an opinion poll showed on Tuesday.

UKIP won European elections in Britain last May, has regularly been getting 15 per cent in opinion polls, and has even spoken of holding the balance of power after the election.

But a Comres poll for the Daily Mail newspaper put the party… at 13 per cent…

An Ashcroft poll on Monday put UKIP at just 11 per cent…

A YouGov poll in the Sun newspaper showed more than half of voters now want the Conservatives – in a ruling coalition with the Liberal Democrats – and the opposition Labour Party to rule out a post-election pact with UKIP…

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