Laura Kuenssberg Corners Minister Over Rishi Sunak's Integrity Pledge Amid Tory Sleaze Claims

Laura Kuenssberg put Claire Coutinho on the spot over Tory sleaze
Laura Kuenssberg put Claire Coutinho on the spot over Tory sleaze Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg

Laura Kuenssberg recalled Rishi Sunak’s pledge to lead a government with integrity this week while questioning one of his ministers about the latest Tory sleaze headlines.

Two different MPs have lost the Tory whip in the last fortnight.

William Wragg admitted he was targeted in a suspected honeytrap plot, while Mark Menzies has been accused of misusing party funds – allegations he denies.

Speaking on her BBC One show, Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, the presenter put energy security and net zero secretary, Claire Coutinho, in the hot seat over these alleged scandals.

The presenter said: “There have been more than a dozen Conservative MPs elected in 2019 who have been suspended from the party over various breaches of the rules.

“Your boss, Rishi Sunak, promised when he moved into Downing Street he would lead a government with the highest standards of integrity.

“Can you look our viewers in the face today and tell them that’s what they are getting, when week after week these stories emerge?”

Coutinho – looking directly at Kuenssberg – said: “Well, look, it’s not one political party that is dealing with this, it’s happening on all sides.”

Eighteen MPs across the House currently sit as independents having lost their party whip since the last general election in 2019.

That includes eight former Tories, seven former Labour MPs, one SNP MP, one DUP MP and one Plaid Cymru MP.

Coutinho continued: “The thing I would stress is that there are 650 MPs. The vast majority are hard-working, decent people.

“Yes it’s always dispiriting for people, including MPs, to see these stories in the press.

“But the vast majority are decent people.”

Kuenssberg said the way parties handle such complaints is often a concern, too – and pointed to criticism from even those within the party, such as former Tory chair, Jake Berry, who served under Liz Truss’s premiership.

The cabinet minister just repeated her previous statement: “Most MPs are very decent people, very hard-working, they care about the country, they care about their constituents, this is a very very small minority of people.”