British decline linked to weak Brexit, leadership and poor finances

British decline linked to weak Brexit, leadership and poor finances

Weak leadership, poor economic management and Brexit have dragged Britain out of the top 10 countries in a global index on good government.

The decline of Britain under the Tories has been charted by the Chandler Global Index for Good Government (CGGI) which saw it take 11th place.

At a time when Rishi Sunak has been under siege from his own Tory MPs, the UK’s place on the annual list was made worse by scores for “leadership and foresight” putting it in 20th place.

It was also hit by coming 27th in “financial stewardship”. The findings come amid a report of an exodus by companies from the City of London.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak steps out of 10 Downing Street. The UK was marked down for weak leadership (PA)

Despite Brexit and the fallout of leaving the EU, Britain’s position was boosted by coming second in the “reputation and global influence” category, being only beaten by France. Overall Singapore came top of the index. However, Brexit hurt the UK badly in its international trade score, with it dropping by 26 places.

The report noted that leadership makes an important difference.

It stated: “What public sector leaders decide, do, or say impacts public trust in government. Good leaders create and sustain cultures of integrity, competence, and service. They have a clear sense of medium- and longer-term pathways for their government and country. They cultivate the foresight needed to anticipate emerging challenges and opportunities.”

It scored countries’ governments for ethical leadership, long-term vision, adaptability, strategic prioritisation and innovation.

Meanwhile, financial stewardship was scored on government debt levels, spending efficiency, budget surplus, and risk premium.

Jeremy Hunt is in charge of the nation’s finances. The UK was also marked down for its financial stewardship (PA )

The UK’s global influence score was high but was harmed by being outside the EU, meaning that its status on international trade had dropped from joint second to 28th.

The findings were the conclusion of CGGI’s panel of experts and leaders in the world of business and government.

They included Dr Reuben Abraham, chief executive of Artha Global; Elizabeth Andersen, executive director of the World Justice Project; Dr Christian Bason, founder of the Transition Collective; Nathalie Delapalme, chief executive of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation; Adrian Brown, executive director of the Centre for Public Impact; Dr Ed Olowo-Okere, vice president at the World Bank; Dr Manuel Gerardo Flores Romero from the OECD; and Professor Kent Weaver, professor of public policy and government at Georgetown University.

Labour has jumped on the findings as evidence that the political chaos under the Tories and uncertainty surrounding Rishi Sunak’s leadership coupled with the fallout of Liz Truss’s mini-budget have put the UK into decline.

Shadow chief Treasury secretary Darren Jones said: “These new rankings fly in the face of Rishi Sunak’s argument that we are turning the corner.

“The United Kingdom is a brilliant place with so much potential, but we have been disastrously let down by 14 years of chaos, with five prime ministers in seven years and our economy still reeling from the Tories’ bombshell mini-budget.

“Labour has a real plan to turn the page on this decline. With Keir Starmer’s Labour Party, we will spur on a decade of renewal with strong fiscal rules, a new national wealth fund to make smart, strategic investments in the industries of the future, and public services we can be proud of again.”

The findings come as Sir Keir Starmer in effect launched Labour’s election campaign with a top promise of “economic stability” in his six first steps published on a new pledge card.

But Downing Street sources said they found the findings “strange” and “lacking in evidence”.

A source close to the prime minister said: “I would point you to GDP stats and what they showed last week. Joint fastest growth in the G7, one of best and fastest recoveries since pandemic (Germany and others still in recession) so not sure how the facts tally with their rankings.”