The session on Monday afternoon in Parliament involving Boris Johnson and his response to the Sue Gray report covered a huge amount of comments and some very disturbing responses. I wrote about some of them yesterday and here are a few more. Some are inevitably more widely spread out by the media, some are less well known. What is so disturbing is his lack of response to so many of them.
Layla Moran (Oxford West and Abingdon) (LD): I have read the report in full, and I think this is the most striking sentence:
“There were failures of leadership and judgment by different parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office at different times.”
My constituents have been writing to me while the Prime Minister has been speaking to say that he should resign, but they also want to know the full facts. Once the Met has concluded, why could he not then publish the full, unredacted report?
The Prime Minister: We will have to see where the police get to, we will have to see the conclusion of their inquiry, and we will have to see what the legal position is then.
Liam Byrne (Birmingham, Hodge Hill) (Lab): This is surely a new low: a Prime Minister of our country forced to come here to the mother of Parliaments to plead the fifth in a criminal investigation because, if the truth were told, he knows it would incriminate him. Let me ask a simple question. If he cannot get his facts straight on whether he was at a party in his own flat, how will anyone in this House ever again believe a word he says, and how will our partners around the world ever put their trust in him?
The Prime Minister: I am not going to dignify that question with an answer, except to say that the right hon. Gentleman has to wait. Everything he said is completely prejudicial.
Anna McMorrin (Cardiff North) (Lab): The Prime Minister has seriously misjudged the mood of the country, and indeed he has misjudged the mood of his own Back Benchers. My constituent wrote to me devastated and upset: he could not see his disabled son, his elderly mother with dementia and his newborn child, putting a serious toll on his mental health. Like millions across the country, he followed the rules, but the Prime Minister thinks he is above the rules. Instead, he blames his civil service and he restructures. Will he do the decent thing and resign?
The Prime Minister: I disagree with the hon. Member profoundly, because I do understand people’s feelings and I do understand why this is so important for people. But I must say that I think the best thing now is for the inquiry to be concluded, and in the meantime for us all to get on with the work that I think everybody wants us to do.
Hilary Benn (Leeds Central) (Lab): Has a date been set for the Prime Minister to be interviewed by the Metropolitan police in connection with their inquiry?
The Prime Minister: The police are independent and they must get on with their inquiry.