Bridget Phillipson calls on Tory MPs to disavow Johnson
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Opposition leaders have tabled a motion for an investigation into Prime Minister Boris Johnson for “misleading Parliament”, triggering a debate in the House of Commons on Thursday on the question of whether Mr Johnson intentionally lied he said that he did not break rules at Downing Street parties. By the end of the session, MPs will hold a vote on whether the Prime Minister misled Parliament over partygate. Labour Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson called on Tory MPs on LBC to do the only reasonable thing to do.
MP Phillipson said: “If they feel that the prime minister has nothing to hide and has done nothing wrong, then I see no good reason why they wouldn’t be supporting that motion tomorrow.”
When asked about the timing of the motion, she said: “I think it is important that the House has the opportunity to consider whether he has misled Parliament and it really falls to conservative MPs now to think overnight whether they want to continue to prop the prime minister who has broken the law.
“I mean, I can’t think of no former conservative prime minister who would behave in this way and not resigned.
“But really, it’s on them tonight to think about whether they want to continue to be part of this terrible spectacle.”
Mr Johnson apologised to Parliament for breaking covid rules on Wednesday but added that “it did not occur to me then or subsequently that a gathering in the Cabinet room just before a vital meeting on the Covid strategy could amount to a breach of the rules.”
Boris Johnson was fined by the Metropolitan police for breaching Covid rules and is suspected of having attended six of the 12 parties or lockdown events held in Downing Street between May 2020 and April 2021.
MP Phillipson continued: “The only reason why we have to table this motion in the first place is that the prime minister is refusing to resign.”
If successful, the motion would go to the privileges committee that would formally investigate two events.
One where Johnson told MPs on December 1, 2021 that “all guidance have been followed” in Downing Street.
And another one where former government spokesperson Allegra Stratton joked about parties.
Among the signatories of the motion are Labour leader Keir Starmer, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, LibDem leader Sir Ed Davey, and Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville-Roberts.
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MP Phillipson added: “I can’t think of a former conservative prime minister who had broken the law while in office, lied to the British people about it, misled Parliament about it and therefore breached the ministerial code, with therefore at that point not think, I should do the right thing by the country and resign.”
“I find it inconceivable. This is just Boris Johnson desperately trying to cling onto office here.”
Another more complete report by civil servant Sue Gray should be released after the Met investigation.
The privileges committee has the power to force the release of documents and could override the Met investigation.
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