Johnson to miss sleaze debate in Commons amid waning support 9 months ago

Johnson to miss sleaze debate in Commons amid waning support

Johnson’s reputation is in 'tatters' and he won't be showing up today to defend it

The Prime Minister has refused to apologise for the handling of the Owen Paterson row, which has left his Government marred by accusations of "sleaze" and "corruption".

Advertisement

Speaking to reporters during a hospital visit in Hexham, Johnson refused the opportunity to apologise twice though did concede it is “very important” to get the standards regime for MPs right.

Conservative MP Tim Loughton, speaking at the same time on BBC's Politics Live described last week as a "car crash". His comments come hours after Tory MP Richard Graham told BBC News he was "possibly" used by his prime minister.

This morning, an IpsosMORI poll for The Evening Standard, revealed that for the first time since Boris Johnson took office, the Conservatives have lost their polling lead over Labour

Advertisement

As the sleaze-row continued to engulf  Johnson’s premiership, the survey revealed a majority of adults in Britain do not believe he has what it takes to be a good prime minister. 

The survey put the Conservatives on 35 per cent, down four points on September, and Labour unchanged at 36 per cent. 

It’s perhaps no surprise that the prime minister has chosen to dodge an anti-sleaze debate in Westminster on Monday afternoon. 

Johnson, marred by allegations of corruption, has been deafeningly silent the past few days after his government voted to save an “egregious” lobbyist Owen Paterson from the House of Commons. 

Advertisement

The three-hour emergency debate in the commons later will see MPs debate the process for investigating their conduct.

The debate was granted after a request by the Liberal Democrats who are calling for an independent inquiry into "Tory sleaze".

Asked if the prime minister is taking the corruption debate seriously, cabinet minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said Johnson doesn’t need to attend today’s debate on getting rid of sleaze from Parliament because "he has a very important job that only he can do.”

Trevelyan conceded that Johnson will "probably" have the Parliament channel on "the TV in the corner".

Advertisement

Good enough.

On the backbenches, fury continues to rage amongst Tory MPs. Richard Graham, who voted to save Paterson from suspension last week, told BBC News he was "possibly" used by his prime minister, a sentiment echoed by many MPs who have spent the weekend battling a furious backlash from their constituents. 

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said the prime minister must apologise to the country after a succession of Tory MPs sought to excuse his attempts at corrupting British politics.

Starmer compelled Johnson to attend the debate, calling on him to “answer, apologise and act”. 

The prime minister is currently on a trip to Northumberland. 

Advertisement

The debate begins at 3.30PM.

Related Links: