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“Not one rule for everyone”: The impact of elite rule-breaking on public trust in the UK.

Baker, T. A. and Lilleker, D., 2022. “Not one rule for everyone”: The impact of elite rule-breaking on public trust in the UK. In: Maarek, P. J., ed. Manufacturing government communication on Covid-19: A comparative perspective. Cham: Springer Nature, 301-317.

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DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-09230-5_15


The COVID-19 pandemic involved most national governments imposing strict rules which seriously restricted the normal lives of their citizens. Social psychology shows us that in such crisis situation the rules must be clear, framed as being for the greater good, and applied equally to everyone. Therefore, to earn or maintain the public’s trust, government communication must be consistent and accessible and they must lead by example. We explore the importance of these focusing on the UK as a case study, a nation with high case rates and deaths as a percentage of the population and where criticism of the Johnson-led government’s approach has been widespread at key points during the pandemic. Drawing on interview data, we explore how a failure to abide by restrictions by governmental Chief Advisor Dominic Cummings led to a reduction in public trust in the government and reduced likelihood of complying with guidelines. We show how this reignited deeply rooted public mistrust and may have shaped later government decisions as further revelations of failures of compliance among elites tested public patience.

Item Type:Book Section
ISBN:978-3-031-09230-5, 978-3-031-09229-9
Series Name:Springer Studies in Media and Political Communication
Uncontrolled Keywords:COVID-19; Trust; Public attitudes; Behavioral psychology; The United Kingdom
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:38018
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:19 Dec 2023 13:58
Last Modified:22 May 2024 13:57


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