The Guardian view on political transparency: throw those curtains wide | Editorial

The Guardian view on political transparency: throw those curtains wide | Editorial

The Guardian

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Truth-telling is not a reflex of this government, which is why a statutory inquiry with powers to compel testimony is so urgent

It is often said that the supreme authority for judging politicians is the court of public opinion. While it is true that electoral success is the key to power in a democracy, winning votes and being right are not the same thing.

Boris Johnson is betting heavily that his appeal in the public arena will override questions that critics have raised about his integrity. He was evasive in parliament on Wednesday when asked by Sir Keir Starmer to clarify who first paid for a controversial Downing Street refurbishment. Mr Johnson insisted that he had settled the account, leaving open the possibility that he did so only once other arrangements – such as a private donation via the Conservative party – proved unsustainable. The money trail and whether it was properly declared is now the subject of investigation by the Electoral Commission.

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