Boris Johnson accused of being ‘up to his neck in scandals’

The SNP called on the Prime Minister to be censured.

Boris Johnson accused of being ‘up to his neck in scandals’ Parliament TV
Paymaster General Michael Ellis QC defended Johnson, calling him a 'hugely popular prime minister'.

Boris Johnson has been accused of being “up to his neck in scandals”, as the SNP launched a bid to censure the Prime Minister.

The party’s Westminster Leader Ian Blackford insisted the charge sheet against Johnson is “damning”, as he led a Commons debate on his conduct.

And Blackford explained that unless the Prime Minister is censured, he will think that he’s “gotten away with the mess he has made”.

Defending the Prime Minister, Paymaster General Michael Ellis QC accused Blackford of depicting an “over the top” characterisation of Johnson and said he was a “hugely popular” prime minister.

“The SNP is bringing forward this motion of censure against this Prime Minister because we believe in a very basic principle and believe that the public does too,” Blackford told the Commons.

“Those in power deserve to face consequences for their disastrous actions and they need to be held to account. And the charge sheet against the Prime Minister is indeed damning.

“In the last few weeks alone, he ripped up anti-lobbying rules when one of his own was found guilty, he is attempting to restrict the right to judicial review, and he is seeking to undermine the independence of the Electoral Commission.

“But it didn’t start there, and it definitely doesn’t end there because since coming to office little over two years ago, the Prime Minister has been up to his neck in scandals.

“Involving cash for honours, cash for contracts, texts for tax breaks and even cash for curtains.

“And as this motion states, this is a Prime Minister who is constantly breaking the sixth Principle of Public Life – the duty to be truthful.”

Blackford said if Johnson is not censured, it will be “final proof” that the Tories believe there is “one rule for them and one rule for everybody else”.

He said: “Month after month, scandal after scandal, the charge sheet gets longer and longer but not one single person is ever held to account.

“If the public is to have confidence in this place then that needs to change and it needs to change today.

“Because unless the Prime Minister faces consequences, unless he is censured, he won’t just think that he’s gotten away with the mess he has made of the last few months, he will think he can do it all over again.

“And let’s be very clear, if the Prime Minister isn’t properly censured today, it will also be final proof that the Tories really do believe that it’s one rule for them and one rule for everybody else.”

Michael Ellis, responding for the Government, described Johnson as a “hugely popular Prime Minister”.

He told MPs: “I must confess some surprise when (Blackford), with this rare opportunity to engage in serious debate with the Government… I mean I haven’t been to a pantomime in quite some time Madam Deputy Speaker… but instead, he opts to launch pantomime season in the month of November.

“Complete with an over the top characterisation of the Prime Minister, who clearly he wishes would disappear in a puff of smoke.

“But the reality is, when it comes to fanciful fairy tales, the Scottish National Party are experts.

“And I venture that neither this House, nor the people of this country, will appreciate the over the top performance, nor recognise I have to say, the absurd depiction of the Prime Minister, hugely popular Prime Minister of this country, who returned this House with an 80-seat majority and is getting on with the job of building back better.”