UK Falls in Global Corruption Rankings

    UK Falls in Global Corruption Rankings
    Last updated Jan 31, 2023
    Image credit: Alamy [via The Guardian]


    • Following a year of high-profile corruption scandals, the UK has dropped from 11th place to 18th with a score of 73 out of 100 on Transparency International's 180-country corruption perceptions index (CPI), which uses measures from the Economist Intelligence Unit, World Economic Forum, and World Justice Project.[1]
    • The report, which notes the UK as experiencing the sharpest decline among all G7 countries, came two days after PM Rishi Sunak fired Conservative party chair Nadhim Zahawi over his tax affairs.[2]
    • The UK has also recently dealt with public spending scandals, particularly regarding the Dept. of Health's mishandling of £14.9B ($17.3B) in COVID-era equipment, with Baroness Michelle Mone currently under criminal investigation into a fraudulent COVID supplies company.[3]
    • Early in the pandemic, it was also revealed that donors to the Tory party, who then became party treasurer, were often subsequently given spots in the House of Lords. In 2021, Richard Sharp, who was appointed chairman of the BBC, was also investigated for helping arrange for then-PM Boris Johnson to obtain a loan of up to £800K ($984K).[4]
    • Despite its lowered ranking, Transparency International said the appointment last month of a new ethics adviser and new transparency rules for ministers were "steps in the right direction," though it added that more had to be done.[5]
    • Sunak's struggle to clean up corruption comes as only eight countries on the list improved their standing including Ireland, South Korea, Armenia, and Angola.[3]


    Narrative A

    London's leaders should be ashamed. The "corruption perceptions index" is the ultimate global poll, showing political and business experts' views on how transparent and frugal government leaders are. The UK's carelessness regarding taxpayer money and "pay-to-play politics" is clear for all the world to see.

    Narrative B

    What this report shows is that every nation — Western, democratic, Eastern, and authoritarian — is corrupt. With only eight countries actually improving their scores, the world is becoming more dangerous for people all across the globe with no signs of reversing. The UK's decline is symbolic of worldwide corruption.

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