Readers' letters: Culture of dishonesty harming Tory party

With the Sue Grey report out and Tory MPs passively absorbing is findings, it would seem that this scandal, like the previous ones on Downing Street refurbishments, the Owen Paterson affair and the fiasco of the Afganhistan withdrawal now passes into history.

From its beginning, many Tory MPs wanted to close ranks and aid the prime minister in his attempts to deflect real blame, including lying to parliament.

So, we are left to wonder how many more scandals will this Tory party tolerate and is the tendency to be dishonest now deep rooted in Tory political culture?

Possibly, it was not until the EU referendum that signs of dishonesty emerged. Recall the blue on blue lies of that referendum. There was Michael Gove's claim, which he later apologised for making, that if we stay in the EU we will see our country overrun by people from Turkey.

A theme of evasions or half-truths began to emerge.

There was Theresa May's reaction to the Grenfell Tower disaster. She wanted the investigation into the causes of the fire to focus totally on the companies that provided cladding.

This distracted attention from the way the Cameron government had ignored recommendations from the fire services over several years for such buildings to have their safety concerns reviewed in light of previous terrible fires.

Then there was the Windrush scandal, which the Home Office tried to deny responsibility for. And then we had the oven-ready protocol with the prime minister claiming that it would not hinder trade to Ulster in the slightest.

When voters identify a theme of evasion, they are inclined to think that the picture is more about a culture of dishonesty and not just minor errors of fact.

Tory MPs need to keep a running total as well, lest they end up out of touch.

Andrew Vass, Edinburgh.

Let’s name Hull 802 the ‘Saint Nicola’

I’m starting to feel sorry for Hull 802, sitting there in a Clydebank shipyard unloved and without even a name to be called by.

It need not be that way. Nicola Sturgeon has just become the longest serving first minister in Scottish history. Why not recognise this by naming the hull ‘Saint Nicola’?

Then put her on a low loader and drive her up to George Square where she can be placed among the other monuments of great people, Scott, Burns and Watt, to name a few.

There she could sit for evermore to remind the public of our dear leader and her party.

Bruce Proctor, Stonehaven.

Sturgeon strangely quiet on invitation

We have now heard that Nicola Sturgeon turned down a Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee invite.

Pete Wishart SNP MP has advised “Our committee is focused on reports and inquiries that are relevant to the people of Scotland, and it would have been helpful to have explored the issues with the First Minister” and “In this Parliament we have had inquiries and reports … that cut across responsibilities of both Parliaments.”

Having been invited on November 1 she took six months to reply that she is and will be too busy. Mark Drakeford, First Minister for Wales, has attended Westminster following invites. He obviously sees the cross over in responsibilities mentioned by Mr Wishart and the benefits of co-operation.

I think we can work out why Sturgeon is scared of actually having to answer questions.

Not everyone, even nationalists, are happy with the SNP performance in government.

Alastair Murray, Edinburgh.

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