The past 24 hours in the UK have revealed two apparently contradictory things:
- Standards in public life are declining
- Standards in public life are being upheld
I say this on account of three developments:
- Defence secretary Gavin Williamson was summarily sacked for allegedly leaking a National Security Council discussion about Huawei. Whether or not his protestations of innocence are to be believed, the principle of cabinet discipline at least has been emphasised at a point the government seems in disarray.
- Then there is the recall petition to remove Fiona Onasanya, the MP found guilty of lying to avoid a speeding ticket. Ms Onasanya has become the first British parliamentarian to be removed from office by a recall petition.
- Meantime, Chris Davies, the Conservative MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, will face a recall petition on May 9 after pleading guilty to submitting a false expenses claim.
All three developments suggest that if leakers, liars and cheats are in public office in Britain today, they also get their comeuppance.