MPs of the opposition continue to press fines on lockdown

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – A day after apologising for being fined for partygate, Boris Johnson faced questioning from Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, the SNP’s Ian Blackford, and a number of backbenchers.

Following is a quick rundown of PMQs 

  • The Prime Minister said he deeply regretted his press secretary Allegra Stratton’s resignation, which came after a video surfaced of her joking about the Downing Street parties during the lockdown.
  • Upon being asked if he accepted he had broken the law by allowing a gathering in Downing Street, he said he had been clear that he “humbly accepts” what the police said.
  • The Prime Minister made no apologies for his statements criticising senior clergy, notably the Archbishop of Canterbury, in response to the new immigration policies of the government, stating he was astonished the government was attacked for a policy aimed at preventing deaths at sea.
  • When asked about claims that he had accused the BBC of not being harsh enough in its criticism of Vladimir Putin, he denied saying anything to that effect, adding that he had “the highest admiration” for journalists’ work.


Sir Keir inquires if the prime minister recognises that he has broken the law

Over loud jeers and cries, Mr Johnson responded that he had made it clear that he “humbly accepts” what the police he said.

He believes that before criticising Labour for its lack of energy plans, MPs would prefer to see them get on with their jobs.


Was the Prime Minister willing to apologise to the Archbishop?

Sir Keir then inquired as to if the Prime Minister wanted to apologise for remarks made about the Archbishop of Canterbury and immigration policies in an article.

The Prime Minister said he was caught aback when the government was criticised for a strategy aimed at preventing deaths at sea.


The PM denied attacking the BBC

The PM, according to Starmer, never takes responsibility for his acts.

The Labour leader questioned about claims that the Prime Minister criticised the BBC of not being harsh enough in its criticism of Vladimir Putin.

He wondered if he had the courage to say that on BBC correspondents Lyse Doucet and Clive Myrie’s faces, who are reporting from Ukraine.

Johnson claims that he had stated nothing of the sort and that he had the highest regard for journalists’ work.


The Prime Minister defames decent people. – Starmer

In a private setting, the PM slanders decent individuals and allows it to spread without the backbone to repeat it in public, Starmer claims.

He insults and assaults the institutions of their great party on purpose, said the Labour leader.

Starmer’s line of attack, according to Boris Johnson, was an indicator of the depths to which he was willing to go.

He didn’t attack the BBC for their coverage of Ukraine the previous night, he claimed, adding, “He must be out of his tiny mind.”


Johnson was ‘on borrowed time,’ according to the SNP

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, cites a poll indicating that 82 percent of Scots felt the Prime Minister had lied, and claimed that the government was in a “constant state of crisis” to save Boris Johnson’s skin.

He said that the Prime Minister was on “borrowed time” while families were dealing with the consequences of a “Tory-created cost of living crisis.”

Boris Johnson said he was “getting on with the work at hand” and “delivering for the people of the whole country.”


What to expect tomorrow? 

MPs will vote on if a Commons committee should probe the PM for deceiving Parliament, according to a Labour motion on Thursday. 

Labour claims that the prime minister’s remarks to the Commons appeared to be misleading the House and that the privileges committee should investigate if his actions amount to “contempt of the House.”

However, it stated that the investigation shouldn’t begin until the police investigation was completed.

If MPs vote in favour of an investigation, the privileges committee, which is made up of seven members of Parliament, could recommend sanctions such as an apology, suspension, or even expulsion from the Commons.

The plan is unlikely to succeed, though, because the majority of Conservative MPs are expected to be asked to vote against the Labour motion.