Britain is suffering an unprecedented crisis of trust in its
major institutions that threatens to irreversibly undermine
national expectations of honesty, reliability and
Kantar research shows extremely low levels of trust in a raft of
institutions once held in high regard by the majority of the
British public, such as Parliament, the BBC, the police and high
Trust is so low that Britain risks becoming more like Greece or
Italy, where the majority of institutions are distrusted by the
majority of people. This could lead to critically reduced
political engagement, especially in young people, and even foment
minor acts of rebellion.
- 76% do not trust senior members of the BBC to tell the truth
- 91% do not trust tabloid journalists to tell the truth
- 50% do not trust senior police officers to tell the truth
Kantar's research shows that faith in our politicians has
plummeted: only three in 10 people trust their local MP to tell the
truth (28 per cent), while fewer than one in five trust government
ministers (16 per cent) or MPs in general (15 per cent).
Over three quarters of people (76 per cent) do not trust senior
members of the BBC to tell the truth and only nine per cent of the
public trust tabloid journalists.
Meanwhile, a slew of financial scandals, including claims that
the inter-bank lending rate was fixed, have further undermined
trust in financial institutions.
Trust in Britain's corporate powerhouses is little better, as
over three-quarters (81 per cent) of the population believe that
businesses will take advantage of them if they are likely not to be
found out, up from 69 per cent in 2010.
Senior police officers, once a bastion of respect, are now held
in such low regard that only half the population (50 per cent)
trust them to tell the truth.
Of all the institutions included in the report, judges were the
most trusted but still just 68 per cent of people believed they did
The dearth of trust in British institutions, many of which were
once international hallmarks of reliability and honesty, could
change our social and political landscape for good. The
long-term effect of this trust crisis would find us in a similar
situation to certain European countries, where various scandals and
corruption have led to a deeply embedded cynicism in the country's
institutions. If this crisis of trust is not stopped in its
tracks, we will enter a situation where young people are
increasingly unwilling to contribute to or co-operate with the
government, leading to a stagnation and even reversal of our
Download the data below, contact us for more information, or
watch Michelle Harrison talk trust with Jeff Randall Live on Sky News.