politics

Boris Johnson accused of dismissing bullying, leaking and cronyism as ‘trivia’ after heated PMQs


The Prime Minister responded to Sir Keir Starmer’s list of accusations on Wednesday by describing them as “trivia” and “pathetic”.

The Labour leader noted that Mr Johnson had written the foreword to the ministerial code in August last year, which said there must be no bullying, harassment, leaking, misuse of taxpayers’ money and actual or perceived conflicts of interest. 

He went on to press the PM on how many of those promises his ministers had kept.  

Mr Johnson said ministers were working hard and doing an “outstanding job” in delivering the people’s priorities.  

Pressed on leaks to the press, the Prime Minister replied: “I think the [Sir Keir] is really concentrating on trivia, when what the people of this country want is to see his support and the support of politicians across the House for the tough measures we are putting in to defeat coronavirus.  

“He makes various attacks on my leadership and the handling of the ministerial code, I take them a lot more seriously frankly if the leader of the opposition could explain whether or why [Jeremy Corbyn] is still a member of the Labour Party. Does he support [Mr Corbyn’s] continued membership of the Labour Party – yes or no? Why doesn’t he answer that question?”  

<p>Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer&nbsp;</p>
(

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer 

/ Sky News )

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle intervened to remind the Prime Minister that it was questions for him and not the opposition.  

Later, when pressed to answer how many millions of pounds had been spent on unusable PPE for the NHS during the pandemic, the Prime Minister replied: “Actually 99.5 per cent of the PPE – the 32 billion items of PPE that this country has secured – conformed entirely to our clinical needs once we’d checked it.

“I think of all the pathetic lines of attack that we’ve heard so far this is the feeblest.”  

Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy accused the PM of dismissing “bullying, harassment, leaking and cronyism”, adding: “He defends wasting money on contracts for his friends while freezing key worker wages. It’s utterly shameless. It really is one rule for them, another for the rest of us.”



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