If every MP that lied was subsequently sacked, the House of Commons would be emptied "very fast", the former deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats has said.
Sir Malcolm Bruce made the comments in a defence of party colleague Alistair Carmichael, who has faced calls for his resignation over a leaked memo alleging Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon privately wanted David Cameron to win the General Election.
Carmichael, the only remaining Lib Dem MP in Scotland, has apologised to Sturgeon and the French ambassador to the UK after the Cabinet Office found he bore responsibility for the sharing of the document with the Telegraph.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Sir Malcolm said: "If you're suggesting every MP who has never quite told the truth or indeed told a brazen lie, including ministers, including Cabinet ministers, including prime ministers, we'd clear out the House of Commons very fast, I would suggest."
Questioned further on the apparent claim that lying in public life was widespread, he said: "No. Well, yes - I think the answer is lots of people have told lies and you know that to be perfectly true."
"But Alistair has taken consequences. He has apologised. He's indicated had he been a minister he would resign. He's forfeited his severance pay," he added.
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Tim Farron has declared he has entered the Liberal Democrat leadership race.
The former party president told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:
I have spent the last six days listening to hundreds and hundreds of members who have been urging me to do it.
My message to them is if they are up for the fightback I will step forward and put myself forward to be the next leader of the Liberal Democrats.
Mr Farron joins former health minister Norman Lamb as the contenders to replace Nick Clegg following the party's disastrous general election results.
The "debacle" of the Liberal Democrats' U-turn on university tuition fees "massively undermined" voters' trust in the party, one of its leadership candidates has said.
Norman Lamb said the Liberal Democrats had learned an "extremely painful lesson" from raising tuition fees to £9,000 while in coalition government with the Conservatives, despite ex-leader Nick Clegg's pledge to vote against any increase.
"Trust for me is critically important and that debacle massively undermined people's trust in the party," he told BBC Radio 4.
"I believe very strongly that we have now learned a massive lesson, an extremely painful one. But I don't think we will ever make that mistake again."
Lamb - who confirmed to ITV Anglia yesterday that he wanted to replace Nick Clegg - voted in favour of tuition fee increases in 2010, while his potential rival for the leadership, Tim Farron, rebelled and voted against the policy.
Norman Lamb said he has "never shrunk away from a challenge" as he announced he will run for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats.
The Norfolk North M, who held his seat with a reduced majority of 4,043, said he would put "body and soul" into the job.
Speaking to ITV News Anglia, Mr Lamb said: "I think we've got a lot of learning to do and we've got to understand where we went wrong.
"..I suspect in the next five years, with the Conservatives on their own, people might start to see what a good restraining influence we were and also some of the very progressive policies that we actually achieved in government."
He is the first to declare his bid in a race expected to be dominated by him and former party president Tim Farron, who has expressed anger that the election was fought "on the politics of fear".
Norman Lamb says he considering standing for the position of Liberal Democrat leader.
Lamb told ITV Anglia's Malcolm Robertson he will make an announcement on his decision in the near future.
Tim Farron has won the support of his Scottish and Welsh counterparts, as a possible contender for the Liberal Democrat leadership role.
Farron has not yet said if he intends to run for the post but he is already being touted by colleagues Willie Rennie and Kirsty Williams as "an inspirational leader".
Rennie and Williams released a joint statement today that said: "Tim is a committed liberal, a brilliant communicator, an outstanding campaigner and an inspirational leader.
"With him as leader we can show that we are a compassionate, tolerant, internationalist, reformist party that looks beyond sectional interest to the greater good, to our children's future not just ours, that believes in partnership home and abroad, not division, that is liberal and democratic."
Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron has said his party needed to "turn anger into action" in order to secure a better election result but must now must turn their attention to offering people "something far better" to ensure they are not losers again.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme he said: "Fear is a hugely motivating factor in elections, I'm sad to report, and what we've got to do is offer something far better than fear - unity, hope, values that draw us together.
"So it's not a case of being a bad loser, it's somebody who is determined not to be a loser again."
Nominations for the Liberal Democrats leadership contest will open on Wednesday, in the hope of having a new leader in place before Parliament breaks up for summer, the party has revealed.
Greg Mulholland, the Lib Dem MP for Leeds North West, has protested the timetable, saying the party needs "strong leadership now".
Just eight Liberal Democrat MPs survived the general election, including outgoing leader Nick Clegg who announced his resignation on Friday.
However, the party's president Baroness Sal Brinton said they were prepared to "fight back", adding that more than 5,000 people had signed up since the results were announced, pushing membership above 50,000.
To get on the shortlist, contenders must secure the endorsement of 10 per cent of MPs - meaning currently just one person - along with 200 members from at least 20 local branches.