Unless the truth will do more harm than a lie. Possibly in wartime when the truth would help the enemy and put our soldiers lives at risk. Possibly in health pandemics to avoid panic. Possibly to reduce mourners' grief by glossing over deaths details.
In non-emgencies there is no excuse for lying. It is wrong and stupid. Like all MPs I have made mistakes but I have never lied. Mistakes should be corrected at first opportunies.
Avoiding telling a lie cost me five weeks of expulsion from parliament. I said in an oral question that 'Politicians lie : soldiers die.' The Speaker demanded to know if I was saying that Ministers had lied? To answer 'no' would have been a lie. Many ministers had lied telling soldiers they were risking their lives in Afghanistan to stop Taliban attacks on the UK. I told the truth that I did believe ministers were not so stupid to believe that the Taliban planned terrorist atttacks on the UK. Others planned them. But not the Taliban. I willingly accepted the inevitable punishment of expul;sion. I would do the same again.
A lie for the great majority of MPs is an extremely rare event. There is the virtually certainty of being found out and being punished. Every word we say in Parliament is open to scrutiny for ever. MPs have a s a prime duty to restore public faith in politics. Lying drags us deeper into the gutter.
Malcolm Bruce demeaned himself, his trade and parliament in his car-crash interview today. Alistair Carmichael is an aimiable competent minister. On Channel 4 news in early April he said the first he knew of Frenchgate was a call from an newspaper. That's was untrue. By any accurate definition it was a lie. He had authorised the leak. It was not in the public's interest to spread a fictitious account of the meeting. It was in the interests of influencing public opinion in favour of the LibDems, of Mr Carmichael as candidate and to smear the SNP. He did nothing to correct the untruthful impressions until the election was over and he had gain personal and party advantage from the untruth.
This is a matter for the Parliamentary Commissioner on Standards and Mr Carmichael's constituents. He should go.