Poll: Public distrust in ‘dishonest’ MPs deepening since Brexit vote

Trust in MPs has fallen sharply since the vote to leave the European Union. Picture: PA
Trust in MPs has fallen sharply since the vote to leave the European Union. Picture: PA
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The vast majority of people across Britain believe MPs are untrustworthy and incompetent at their jobs, according to a new poll released today.

Seven out of ten people (70 per cent) do not think MPs are honest, with more than half (52 per cent) convinced that they put their own interests first before those of their constituents or the country at large.

The poll offers a snapshot of the public’s growing discontent with Westminster since the EU referendum and the increasing division between politicians and those they are elected to serve.

It also lays bare a growing appetite for stricter punishments of those MPs who flout standards rules as part of efforts to improve politics in Britain.

The poll found that 77 per cent of people say their trust in MPs across the political spectrum has fallen since the Brexit vote.

Just under a fifth of people said their trust levels had stayed the same (18 per cent), with three per cent of those polled more likely to trust MPs.

Fewer than one in ten adults (nine per cent) polled believe that politicians are trustworthy; with over seven in ten (71 per cent) disagreeing when asked if they believe MPs are trustworthy.

Just over one in ten adults (11 per cent) thought MPs were good at their jobs, compared to nearly two thirds (63 per cent) who disagreed.

The poll also found that just 16 per cent people think MPs put the interests of the UK first, with a mere seven per cent of the view that constituents are their priority.

It also shows significant support for imposing penalties on rule-breaking MPs – over four out of five (82 per cent) of those questioned believe that imposing severe penalties on those found guilty of breaking rules on behaviour and standards in public life would improve UK politics.

A similarly large majority (80 per cent) of those questioned believe there should be penalties in place for any MP found to be sharing disinformation, such as fake news and false claims.

The poll was commissioned by broadcaster Channel 5 and ITN Productions ahead of a live debate programme this evening which explores whether politicians are doing their job.

The show, presented by Jeremy Vine, will feature politicians, journalists, and commentators, including David Davis MP, Chuka Umunna MP, and Alastair Campbell.

The poll was carried out by ComRes, who interviewed 2,035 adults online last week.