Boris Johnson news live: PM branded ‘coward’ for skipping sleaze debate

Boris Johnson refuses to apologise for handling of sleaze scandal

Boris Johnson has been accused of “running scared” after not turning up to a parliamentary debate on the sleaze row engulfing the government.

In a three-hour session on Monday, MPs from across the political divide criticised the prime minister’s attempts last week to save his ally Owen Paterson from being suspended for lobbying.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said he had “given the green light to corruption” before deciding to “cower away” from scrutiny on Monday, while the former Tory chief whip Mark Harper said Mr Johnson should “apologise to the public and to this house”.

With the prime minister away on a hospital visit in Northumberland, it was left to Stephen Barclay to express ministers’ “regret” for last week’s “mistake”.

The fallout appears to be affecting the public’s confidence in Mr Johnson and his government, with recent polls showing a dip in support for the Tories.

Meanwhile, the SNP reported Mr Johnson and the Conservatives to the police over “potential criminal misconduct” linked to the awarding of peerages to nine former Tory treasurers who had all given the party £3 million or more.

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Tories join attacks on ‘cowardly’ Boris Johnson amid sleaze row

Boris Johnson has been labelled a “coward” for ducking out of an emergency debate in parliament on sleaze.

With the prime minister on a hospital visit in Northumberland on Monday afternoon, MPs accused him of “giving the green light” to corruption, with the former Tory chief whip Mark Harper urging him to apologise for the Owen Paterson debacle.

In his absence, shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “So not only is Boris Johnson too cowardly to turn up to parliament to defend the sleazy corrupt government shenanigans of recent days, he’s now irresponsibly parading round a hospital without a mask.”

Rory Sullivan9 November 2021 07:43

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Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s live politics coverage on the sleaze scandal engulfing the government.

Rory Sullivan9 November 2021 07:39




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