Major parties commit to standards for honest politics for next election

17 January 2024 | Team Full Fact

At the end of last year, we wrote to the leaders of UK political parties setting out how they can provide leadership for an honest general election

We’re pleased to announce that three of the parties; the Green Party, the Alliance Party, and Plaid Cymru have agreed to commit to the standards we set out for honest campaigning during the next election, so that everyone can make an informed decision when they vote on polling day.

This should be a wake up call to every political party across the country. Every election, we see the same dishonest tactics. Leaflets mocked up to look like trusted local newspapers, manifestos with made up numbers that don’t stand up to scrutiny – it’s high time for a change.

Our democracy is reaching a crisis point; trust in politicians is consistently low, month on month. The least our prospective leaders can do is sign up to very basic standards of honesty. What does it say about a political party if it falls at this very first hurdle?

Full Fact wants to increase trust in politics, not diminish it – but it's up to our politicians to lead by example and earn that trust. We’ve been in touch with leaders across the political spectrum, and we look forward to seeing them follow the example set by the Green Party, Plaid Cymru, and the Alliance Party.

Chris Morris, CEO, Full Fact

False or misleading claims have very real consequences for all of us. They hurt the very core of our democracy, by taking away our ability to make informed choices and to trust each other. They can ruin lives, by promoting hate and harming our health.

As political leaders, we recognise the profound impact of our words and the responsibility we bear to use them with care and honesty. We pledge, as leaders and as the Green Party, to campaign honestly, and we urge all the other political parties and leaders to do the same.

Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay, co-leaders of the Green Part

Plaid Cymru is proud to support Full Fact’s campaign. Honesty in politics is crucial if we are to restore the trust which has been eroded in recent years.

A lack of transparency means a lack of accountability which in turn undermines our democracy and lets down voters, leaving them disillusioned and less likely to make their voice heard.

We would urge all other parties to sign up to this pledge too so that track records and manifesto commitments can be scrutinised in full, and to ensure that public debate is always open and truthful.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, leader of Plaid Cymru

I share Full Fact’s concern, and that of the public, that misleading or dishonest campaigns and bad information erodes public trust and damages public confidence in democracy.

I am happy to make this campaign pledge, which aligns with the Alliance Party’s values of honesty, integrity, openness, and transparency.

Naomi Long, leader of the Alliance party

This is a great start. But it is not enough. We're urging the parties who have not signed this pledge to reassure voters that they will follow the example of the leaders who have committed already.

Full Fact is calling on all major parties across the country to:

  1. Make sure that claims made by its leader, party and candidates are truthful.
  2. Set out the party's manifesto in ways that allow meaningful scrutiny of its pledges.
  3. Ensure the party's advertising is honest and truthful, and commit to have the party's political advertising independently regulated.
  4. Not use deceptive campaigning tactics to gain votes, and commit to new rules for honest party campaigning practices.

You can play a critical role in getting all major parties to sign up to this pledge. We have launched a petition focusing on getting parties to not use deceptive campaign practices. So far more than 12,000 people have signed, but we need more. The more of us there are, the louder our voice. Now is the time to make your voice heard and help end deceptive campaign practices.

Sign the petition

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.