Lying in politics has become endemic - we have to stop it.
And it is having serious, real-world consequences.
The Vote Leave campaign was helped to victory by lies - claiming that Turkey was on the verge of joining the EU and that Brexit would save Britain £350m a week.
Fake leaflets were distributed to voters in the recent Batley and Spen by-election, the seat previously represented by the murdered MP Jo Cox.
We should be under no illusion: lies are not only deceitful but dangerous and destructive.
That's why we're working to ban lying in politics.
We are working to introduce a simple law that would make it illegal for politicians to deliberately lie to the public.
This Bill would extend the existing laws about misrepresentation in marketing and apply them to politics.
If a business lies to you about a product, you expect compensation. Similarly if a politician willingly and knowingly lies about their work or intentions, they should face the consequences.
Under our law, any elected politician or candidate found guilty of wilfully lying would face a fine or, for repeated and particularly damaging offences, a prison sentence.
Getting this Bill introduced is entirely possible.
There are many politicians who want to do the right thing - who believe that the lying has to end and politics has to be cleaned up.
We will work with them to introduce a Bill into parliament that would finally raise the standards in politics and bring an end to the lies. In doing so, we believe we will have the public support needed to persuade MPs to back the proposal: our polling with Opinium found that 76% back the Bill.
We need your help to make this happen.
Compassion in Politics receives no funds from government or corporate donors so all of our activities are funded by people like you - people who want to make a difference.
Your donations will mean that we can:
- Show how bad the problem of lying in politics is - making it impossible to ignore our demands.
- Convince MPs to support our Bill so that when it is presented to parliament, a majority of politicians are already on-side.
- Get even greater support from the public so politicians know that people feel justifiably angry about this issue and want change.
To give you an idea how we will be able to spend our donations:
- £5,000 will pay for a single piece of powerful research and staff time to meet with approximately 25 MPs
- £10,000 will mean we can meet with 50 MPs, conduct one piece of research, and carry out an inspiring public advertising campaign
- £25,000 will allow us to meet 150 MPs - the number we need to get the Bill over the line - carry out two big public-facing campaigns and two pieces of research.
Some more information on Compassion in Politics
The cross-party think-tank Compassion in Politics was launched in October 2018 with the aim of putting compassion, inclusion, and kindness at the heart of politics. It is supported by over 50 parliamentarians from six different parties, by a network of academics, and by public figures such as the Dalai Lama, Gillian Anderson, and Ruby Wax. The All-Party Group for Compassionate Politics is Co-Chaired by Debbie Abrahams MP and Baroness Warsi.