The Western Mail has a two page spread today about a Committee on Standards in Public life survey on public perceptions of honesty. The article is headed "Our Assembly Members seen as less honest than local MP's" which, on first glance, suggests that the public prefer their MP's to AM's. The key word though is "local".
Even though the survey did find that people trusted their local MP to tell the truth more than local AM (49% v 41%) in every other part of the survey Assembly Members were the ones held in better regard.
As a whole MP's were given a 30% trustworthy rating, compared to 35% for AM's. Interestingly UK government ministers received less than general MP's (29%) but Welsh Assembly Ministers significantly more than their backbench colleagues (41%) .
In encouraging news for Welsh Ministers they outscored their London rivals in every category:
Dedicated to doing a good job for the public - 49 v 40
Competent 42 v 40
Set good example 39 v 31
Do not use powers for own gain 44 v 39
Use public money wisely 34 v 27
Explain reasons for decisions 29 v 24
Tell the truth 32 v 26
In touch with public 33 v 22
Do not take bribes 58 v 55
Own up to mistakes 10 v 13
Of course, both set of politicians come off worse against most other professions, with doctors, headteachers and judges leading the way.
For some reason the Western Mail has decided to ignore all those results and stick to the one single figure that MP's trump AM's on for their headline! Could that be the reason why, right at the bottom of the trustworthy pile, well below both AM's and MP's, come tabloid journalists!