National & International

Britain plunges to its lowest-ever score in Corruption Perceptions Index

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Britain has slumped to its lowest-ever score in Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)according to a Transparency International press release.

Results published January 31st, show the UK’s score fell sharply to 73 this year – its lowest since the Index underwent a major revamp in 2012 – resulting in a seven-place tumble in the global rankings from 11th to 18th.

According to Transparency International, the CPI uses impartial surveys from experts and business leaders to score and rank countries by the perceived level of corruption in their public sectors. It uses a scale of zero (perceived as highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived as very clean).

Only five of the 180 countries assessed for the 2022 Index saw their year-on-year scores drop by five or more points: the UK (-5), Qatar (-5), Myanmar (-5), Azerbaijan (-7) and Oman (-8)

The UK’s CPI score is based on data from eight independent sources, including the Economist Intelligence Unit and the World Economic Forum. All surveyed experts and business executives for their views on abuses of public office for private gain and bribery in the UK.

According to Transparency International. UK, data for this year’s CPI was collected between November 2019 and October 2022, during which time:

  • Details continued to emerge of the government’s ‘VIP lane’ for fast-tracking offers of PPE from companies with political links. Research previously warned this process appeared systemically biased in favour of those with connections to the party of government.
  • A cross-party parliamentary watchdog raised concerns that decisions on how to award money from the £3.6bn towns fund, designed to boost economic growth in struggling towns, were not impartial and were politically motivated.
  •  40 potential breaches of the ministerial code that were not investigated in the past five years. Details of almost all these potential breaches emerged during the CPI data collection period.
  • An investigation revealed wealthy donors to the Conservatives who gave at least £3million and took on a temporary role as the party treasurer commonly went on to be given a place in the House of Lords.


Globally, the CPI average score remains unchanged at 43 for the eleventh year in a row. More than two-thirds of countries have a serious problem with corruption, scoring below 50.

Denmark (90) tops the index, with South Sudan (13), Syria (13) and Somalia (12), all of which are embroiled in protracted conflict, remaining at the bottom.

Twenty-six countries – including the UK (73), Qatar (58), and Guatemala (24) – have received historic low scores this year.


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