Rishi Sunak nailed over peerages for lockdown partygoers

Rishi Sunak’s third Prime Minister’s Questions started badly for the struggling new prime minister, when he was asked to deny peerages to any Tory who received a fine for partying during Covid-19 lockdown.

This Writer doesn’t like the questioner – Neil Coyle is a far-right Labour MP who was once suspended from the party for alleged racism against a British-Chinese journalist, and who has been accused of anti-Semitism.

None of what he did today (November 9, 2022) should excuse him of those transgressions if he committed them.

But the point he raised was good and deserves to be amplified at a time when there are concerns that former prime minister Boris Johnson is trying to use the honours system to give perks to political friends who don’t deserve them.

Shaun Bailey, the former London mayoral candidate who faced a backlash for attending a mid-lockdown Christmas party (and who also happens to belong to an ethnic minority – I mention this with reference to the allegations against Coyle but would merely observe that it was probably unwise for him to raise this question, considering his history), was also said to be on the former prime minister’s list.

And his line that Tories who jeered at him could “all go to Australia and eat kangaroo testicles for all I care”, in recognition of Matt Hancock’s imminent appearance on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here, is a good one.

Sunak proved once again that he is a weak prime minister; he didn’t answer the question and instead fell back on a list of what he says the Tory government did – a list that many may find objectionable:

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