William Goodhart

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Lord William Goodhart QC: Transparency International and formerly member of The Committee on Standards in Public Life (the Neill Committee), appointed by The Prime Minister:

"To examine current concerns about standards of conduct of all holders of public office, including arrangements relating to financial and commercial activities, and make recommendations as to any changes in present arrangements which might be required to ensure the highest standards of propriety in public life".

Part of its study is a look into the funding of political parties. Lord Goodhart was on the Committee on Standards in Public Life when it drew up the original donation rules, with its famous 'loophole' concerning 'loans'. But there is a a loophole with the loophole, as noted here by Andrew Turner in Hansard:

"The Minister said that no one in this House recognised the loophole that existed. Does that mean that the then chairman of the Labour party and the Prime Minister—as well as Lord Levy, who I accept is not a Member of this House—did not recognise the loophole?"

The problem is - according to the Committee - freedom of information: the Committee asserts that 'openness can be used to increase the worryingly low level public trust of politicians in the UK.'

Goodhart, is a Liberal Democrat Life Peer, Chairman of the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee in the House of Lords. TI seem to have a grip on the House of Lords, Hansard revealed many members declaring interests while debating the BAE Al Yamamah investigation. As Lord Neill of Bladen observed:

"My Lords, I add to what the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, said, in congratulating the noble Lord, Lord Chidgey, and Transparency International on their initiative. It is a matter for regret that it has been left to private initiative to move forward in this absolutely vital area. Anybody with any experience of international contracts and their performance around the world would have found, time and again, either direct bribes being reported or commission of a dubious character being demanded by intermediaries. I am afraid that it is a bad and corrupt world out there; it is getting better, but there is a long way to go."

The case was abandoned because, according to the Financial Times to continue with it would damage “UK/Saudi security, intelligence and diplomatic co-operation.”

In the Guardian Goodhart stated that he believed:

"In the UK we are relatively free from corruption and we claim to be helping to reduce corruption in other countries [...] The real public interest is that corruption should be rooted out and should not be allowed to distort international trade or to put bungs into undeserving pockets."

Presumably then, as with the Al Yamamah case, the task is to put 'bungs' into deserving pockets.

Turning away from the arms industry Goodhart is a council member of the The Royal Institute of International Affairs and was a speaker at Chatham House and the Defence Academy's - Winning the Peace along with Rt Hon Lord Ashdown KBE the President of Chatham House; Lyse Doucet, Presenter, BBC World; Sir Ronnie Flanagan GBE QPM now with Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary; Professor Christopher Greenwood CMG QC, Barrister and Professor of International Law, London School of Economics and Political Science; Lt Gen Sir John Kiszely KCB MC, Director, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom; Dr Robin Niblett, Director, Chatham House; Rear Admiral Chris Parry CBE, Director General, Development, Concepts and Doctrine, Ministry of Defence; Douglas Brand, Chief Executive Officer, Global Conflict Solutions; Dr Roger Hood QVRM TD, Defence Adviser & Corporate Strategist, FUJITSU Defence & Security; Professor Sir Michael Howard; Steen L Jorgensen Director of Social Development, Sustainable Development, The World Bank; Bill Mawer, Vice President Strategy and Technology, Smiths Detection; Louise Perrotta, Conflict Resolution and Rule of Law Adviser, Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Goodhart was a founder member of the SDP and the Liberal Democrats and fought four parliamentary elections. He was a member of the Liberal Democrat Policy Committee from 1988 to 1997.



  1. National Secular Society Our Honorary Associates. Accessed 20 September 2015.