‘THE MINISTERIAL Code says that ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation,’ Labour leader Keir Starmer said during PMQs yesterday lunch-time, asking of PM Johnson: ‘Does the Prime Minister believe that applies to him?’
Johnson replied: ‘Of course, but let me tell the House, because I think that he is inviting a question about an investigation which as you know I can’t comment on and which he as a lawyer will know that I can’t comment on.’
With this tactic Johnson effectively ended the discussion before it had started.
Starmer continued: ‘I think that the Prime Minister said yes the code does apply to him. Therefore if he misled Parliament he must resign.
‘On the first of December, the Prime Minister told this House in relation to parties during lockdown “All guidance was followed completely in Number 10,” from that dispatch box.
‘On the eighth of December, the Prime Minister told the House “I have been repeatedly assured since these allegations emerged that there was no party”.
‘So since he acknowledges that the Ministerial Code applies to him … will he now resign?’
Johnson replied: ‘No.’
Starmer continued: ‘Isn’t this a Prime Minister and a government that have shown nothing but contempt for the decency, honesty and respect that define this country?’
Johnson responded: ‘Of course he wants me out of the way, because he knows that this government can be trusted to deliver. And we delivered on Brexit, he voted 48 times to take this country back into the European Union.’
He then said: ‘The problem with the Labour Party today is that he is a lawyer not a leader.’
Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the Labour (Co-op) MP for Brighton Kemptown, intervened to recite: ‘Happy un-birthday to him. Happy un-birthday to him. Because just like the Mad Hatter he didn’t need the excuse of a birthday to have a party, but it did help, didn’t it?
‘Where he had groups of people singing to him when communal gatherings indoors were illegal and communal singing was banned.
‘My constituents think that he had lied. My constituents think that he lied to this House and my constituents think that he lied to them, when he was partying.’
He concluded: ‘So I would prefer to be led by a lawyer than a liar, will he now resign?’
Johnson replied: ‘In everything that he said right now, he plainly doesn’t know what he is talking about. What I can tell him, and what I can tell his constituents, is that irrespective of what they want to focus on, and I understand why they do, this government is going to get on and deliver for this country.’
Clearly Johnson and the Tories are not going to resign. They will have to be put out by a general strike organised by the trade unions.