Britain has received its lowest ever score and ranking on Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).
The drop “is a powerful indictment” in the decline in public standards, campaigners say, which have been dragged down by a series of recent government scandals around the procurement of PPE during pandemic and multiple ministerial breaches.
The UK has fallen seven positions on the NGO’s annual index, published today, dropping from 11th to 18th place – the lowest position it has occupied on the index since 2012.
Britain’s score on the index has also fallen, from 78 out of 100 in 2021 to record lows of 73 out of 100 in 2022.
The five point drop saw Britain’s score fall at a sharper rate than all but two other countries – Azerbaijan (-7) and Oman (-8).
The UK’s drop to 18th place caused Britain to fall behind countries including Uruguay, Estonia, and Luxembourg, putting it on par with Belgium and Japan.
Denmark topped the global rankings with a score of 90 out of 100 while Somalia (12), Syria (13), and South Sudan (13) lay at the bottom of the NGO’s index.
|Score out of 100||Rank out of 180 countries|
Transparency International said that various scandals around the procurement of PPE during Covid and multiple ministerial breaches have now begun to impact the country’s standing around the world.
“This sharp fall in the UK’s score is a powerful indictment of a recent decline in standards in government and controls over the use of taxpayer money,” Daniel Bruce, chief executive of Transparency International UK, said.
Bruce argued the sharp drop in Britain’s score is “the strongest signal yet that slipping standards are being noticed on the world stage.”
Susan Hawley, executive director of Spotlight on Corruption, said: “It is depressing but sadly not surprising that the UK has slipped so dramatically down the index after several years of endless ethical scandals, and a failure by the current and recent governments to get any real grip on corruption risks at home.”
“The pervasive sense that Britain is becoming a corrupt country is deeply damaging to our international standing and the health of our democracy,” Hawley said.
The campaigner continued in calling on the UK government to “urgently appoint an anti-corruption champion to review why this is happening” to tackle the country’s decline.
Bruce also backed calls for the appointment of an anti-corruption chief as she argued the UK has the opportunity to “reverse the decline.”
He said that “restoring the confidence of business… will not be easy” as he argued any effort to do so will require “comprehensive action as well as words in order to make good on the Prime Minister’s commitment to lead a government of integrity and accountability.”