Tag Archives: questions

Boris Johnson accused – again – of being a national security risk

Bunga bunga? Boris Johnson – at a party – with a Russian oligarch (this one is industrialist Alexander Temerko). At the time, Johnson didn’t think there was any reason to investigate Russian influence in UK politics. Now, he simply won’t answer questions about these associations.

Here’s a welcome humorous interlude before we all try to get to grips with Rishi Sunak’s rubbish spring statement.

After Labour’s Matt Western scored a hit last week, asking what attracted Boris Johnson to billionaire Russian oligarchs, he returned to ask why MI6 considers Johnson such a security risk.

The prime ministers response was… well, see for yourself. It wasn’t an answer!

Is this the new Tory energy policy – going cap in hand to tyrants?

Begging bowl already loaded: this is actually a stock shot to illustrate Boris Johnson’s junket around the world, trying to chum up with foreign dictators in return for cheap oil. But what does he have to offer in return?

Boris Johnson’s decision to traipse around the world’s dictators with his begging bowl in hand has been mocked harshly by MPs in the UK’s Parliament.

He is currently in Saudi Arabia to sign a business deal with the government there, days after it carried out the largest mass execution of civilians in modern history – 81 people including seven people from neighbouring Yemen, with whom the Saudis are at war.

Called out over it by Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner during (Deputy) Prime Minister’s Questions, Dominic Raab had no answer other than a complete non-sequitur about the Salisbury Poisoning of 2018 and former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He was upbraided by Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle for harking back to the past,

And his claim wasn’t even accurate!

None of his bluster cut any ice with MPs, though – as a subsequent question by Alistair Carmichael showed:

And it struck a jarring contrast with Raab’s own words about the “despotic regime” in Iran that has just released Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe after six years.

After Ms Rayner welcomed the development – and asked for an inquiry to determine whether Johnson’s “lazy words” in 2018 had lengthened her prison term, Raab suggested she should not give “succour” to Iran:

What an odd thing to suggest about a dictatorship that only released her because his government had finally paid a decades-old £400 million debt in order to gain access to that “despotic regime” and its oil!

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Another #BorisJohnson #Partygate lie as he dismisses claims about new photo?

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was momentarily blindsided when a Labour MP challenged him with brand-new allegations about him attending 2020 Christmas parties, during Prime Minister’s Questions on February 9, 2022.

Here’s the moment when Fabian Hamilton, MP for Leeds North East, brought the matter to Johnson’s attention:

He was referring to this photo:

How is Mr Hamilton “completely in error”? Johnson may not be “surrounded” by alcohol and food, but there is quite clearly an open bottle of what looks like champagne on the table in front of him, along with a packet of crisps that has been torn open in the way that happens at social events when many people are invited to dip in and take some.

And there’s definitely one person wearing tinsel.

It really does look “a lot like one of the Christmas parties that [Johnson] told us never happened”.

So… perhaps Johnson was mistaken in his answer. And of course he did not respond to the thrust of the question.

That’s okay – he was given an opportunity to correct the record only minutes later, courtesy of Labour’s Gerald Jones:

“That event already has been submitted for investigation,” Johnson spluttered, after stuttering several times (a sure ‘tell’ that he was trying to mislead us all).

Has it?

The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg wasn’t so sure when she discussed it on Politics Live, a few minutes later. She said Cabinet Office secretary Sue Gray, who had carried out Johnson’s investigation (not an independent one), had chosen not to refer it to the police.

But this is a photo of the prime minister, in a party situation, at Christmas 2020 – and finding such evidence was exactly the purpose of the Gray investigation. If she did not pass this evidence of criminal activity on to the police, then she was derelict in her duty.

Gray’s interim report is vague about this. It states: “The Metropolitan Police has now confirmed that as a result of information provided by the Cabinet Office investigation team, as well as assessments made by Metropolitan Police officers, they are investigating the events on the dates set out above with the exception of the gatherings on:
• 15 May 2020
• 27 November 2020
• 10 December 2020
• 15 December 2020.”

It does not explain whether all the information Gray had received had been passed on to the police; it does not explain whether Gray herself chose to tell the police which events to investigate; and it does not explain whether the police made that decision.

In any case, it seems unlikely that Sue Gray even had the image (above) to pass on at the time she discussed these events with the police, as it has only just become public, according to Pippa Crerar in The Mirror, where the story of this new development was broken.

So it seems clear that this new evidence should indeed be passed to the police, who should reconsider whether to add the Christmas Quiz of December 15, 2020 to the 12 events they are already investigating.

If they don’t, even more serious criticisms will be made about Metropolitan Police bias and the suitability of Cressida Dick, who is an alumnus of Balliol College, Oxford, along with Boris Johnson, to continue in her role.

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Was this the moment #BorisJohnson’s career ended? For many, it couldn’t come soon enough

Laughing at us: Boris Johnson grinned inanely and bobbed about on his bench while MPs attacked his contempt for the rules and denials of guilt.

What an apocalyptic performance.

Prime Minister’s Questions could hardly have gone worse for Boris Johnson. It is hard to tell which moment was more damaging for him.

Was it this, in which senior Tory MP – and himself a former leadership contender – David Davis quoted (among others) Oliver Cromwell?

I was one of many to comment on it…

Alternatively, was the tipping-point this moment, in which Johnson himself laughed at criticisms of his rule-breaking?

I had something to say about this as well:

And now we’re all waiting to see if Graham Brady, chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee, will come out and say he’s received enough ‘no confidence’ letters to trigger a leadership challenge against Johnson.

After today’s performance it seems that, for many of us – Tories and Opposition alike – that moment can’t come soon enough.

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Will #BorisJohnson face a #leadershipchallenge right after #PrimeMinistersQuestions?

Boris Johnson: his entire career could rest on his performance in Prime Minister’s Questions on January 19.

It seems rumours about a group of Tory MPs from the 2019 preparing to challenge Boris Johnson’s leadership are accurate.

In a previous article, I drew your attention to this:

Now the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg has got on the case, although it seems she’s treating it like a damage-limitation exercise on Johnson’s behalf.

According to Ms K,

there’s a notion that they will as, a group, submit their letters [of no confidence in Boris Johnson] to Sir Graham after Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday afternoon.

She reckons there are around 20 of these MPs, rather than a dozen, as previously suggested. If it’s true that 35 MPs have already submitted ‘no confidence’ letters to Graham Brady, chair of the backbench 1922 Committee, then he will have 55, which is one more than the threshold for a challenge to Johnson’s leadership.

Kuenssberg went on to say that a Johnson-loyalist Cabinet member has dismissed the “notion”, saying it is not a serious threat to the prime minister but a “pork pie plot”, playing on the fact that one of the 2019 group is Alicia Kearns, MP for Rutland and Melton (home of the pork pie).

If her report of that intervention is accurate, then it can only make Johnson and his people look worse because, as Kuenssberg states,

colleagues say Ms Kearns has been unfairly targeted and that she’s not leading any rebellion.

Let’s hope other Conservative MPs are as disgusted by the behaviour of this Cabinet member as I am, and they add their support to the 2019 group and oust BoJob before he can do any more harm to the UK.

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Dead man talking: are the #DowningStreetParties over for #BorisJohnson? [VIDEO]

Boris Johnson finally shambled out to the Dispatch Box and attempted to apologise for attending the lawbreaking, lockdown-busting Downing Street party on May 20, 2020, during Prime Minister’s Questions.

He must have realised that he would not be able to avoid answering questions about it any more.

Before watching the clip, remind yourself of the context:

Bear that in mind when you watch Johnson put on his naughty-boy face and come out with this:

So he thought the “bring your own booze” party was a “work event”, did he? How stupid does he think we are, to believe that tripe?

Did he think that, even though he must have received the emailed invitation (it’s technically the garden of his home; nothing happens there without his knowledge)?

And take a look at this, which shows just how desperate the Tory justifications are becoming:

I’m not convinced.

Neither were Keir Starmer, Ian Blackford, Karl Turner, Chris Bryant, Ed Davey or many, many other Opposition MPs. Here’s a montage of their comments:

Johnson did answer these questions – but not with anything that was worth hearing. I’ll put clips of the questions with answers up on my YouTube channel (hint: please subscribe).

Conservative MPs tried to fill PMQs with questions about anything else at all, in a vain attempt to distract from the sheer cringing awfulness of what their leader had admitted.

And then Safeguarding minister Rachael Maclean tried to justify it on the BBC’s Politics Live. Her attempted evasions were so bad they may actually qualify as comedy. See for yourself:

And it wasn’t enough, I hear.

Apparently the number of letters winging their way to the chair of the Conservative Party’s backbench 1922 committee is fast approaching the 54 necessary to trigger a leadership challenge:

Oh, and apparently there was a meeting of the 1922 committee the evening after PMQs…

So, politically speaking, is Johnson a dead man walking? We should know by the weekend.

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A day after the #censure vote on his #Torylies, #BorisJohnson lies again [VIDEO]

His attitude to voters: and let’s not forget that the Conservatives are relying on the voters of Old Bexley and Sidcup to return their candidate in today’s (December 2) by-election.

It takes a special kind of Tory arrogance to lie repeatedly to the nation, just one day after running away from a censure motion in Parliament about lying.

But that’s the kind of arrogant Tory that Boris Johnson really is.

Don’t take my word for it, though!

Take that of Peter Stefanovic:

I wonder how the people of Old Bexley and Sidcup feel, being asked to return a Conservative to Parliament in their by-election by a man whose promises mean so little?

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Mythbusting: nurse(?) makes mistake over ‘Do Not Resuscitate’

Ventilator: people with long-term illnesses, disabilities and learning disabilities are still being denied resuscitation by the NHS – and one nurse, at least, has denied the existence of this scandal.

I can’t let this pass.

At Prime Minister’s Questions on June 16, Peterborough’s Tory MP Paul Bristow asked an important question about “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) orders that have been made on NHS patients during the Covid-19 crisis.

Having reported on this scandal many times on This Site, I tweeted in response:

I was surprised and saddened when this provoked the following response from a Twitter user who identifies as a nurse (I won’t reproduce the tweet here because I do not wish to identify that person):

“Are you a healthcare professional?

“No.

“Then do not spread false theories about something you obviously know nothing about.”

I attempted to put my critic straight – as politely as possible, in the circumstances:

“I am a news reporter of nearly 30 years experience and have been covering this story from the start. I DO know the facts here. And I see that, since you provide no information to support your insult, you probably don’t. Go well.”

Sadly, this person would not take the (rather overt) hint and came back at me:

You have confirmed it.

It is a story.

I do not have the time, inclination or room on twitter to “provide you with information” only to say that I have 30 years experience as a nurse and have a postgraduate qualification in Professional Practice

Then this is a person who ought to have known better. The claim, “It is a story,” was an attempt to downplay the DNR deaths as fiction, and I wasn’t having that. Also the refusal to support a claim with factual information is a classic tactic by trolls who don’t have any facts to offer.

So I responded (again):

“And how does that better qualify you to comment on this? I’ve done the research so I know my facts. It isn’t fiction.”

And again this person came back at me:

Ok then would you attempt CPR on a five stone frail old woman? Am not going to carry on with this because I’m afraid you just don’t know what you’re on about

This is misleading, and a lie. Allow me to explain.

Mr Bristow’s question is available  to read in Hansard, here. He said: “Last year, doctors and care settings issued an unprecedented number of “do not resuscitate” orders to patients with learning disabilities and mental illness. Many were unlawful and caused avoidable deaths.

“Despite urgent Care Quality Commission and NHS guidance, shockingly, this practice has continued. Last week, The Telegraph reported that Sonia Deleon died unresuscitated. Her family said she was given a DNR without them knowing, and with her learning disabilities and schizophrenia stated as reasons.

“Does the Prime Minister share my alarm about these cases, which should have no place in our care, and does he agree that they should be independently investigated?”

I won’t bother to repeat Boris Johnson’s response as he made no undertaking to prevent further abuses of DNR orders.

It was clear that the issue here was not the safety of attempting cardio-pulmonary resuscitation on a person who may suffer as much harm in that attempt as by the condition that had caused them to need reviving.

It was a political choice to deny health care to people dying with Covid-19, because they have learning (or other) disabilities. It seems to have been considered an opportunity to clear many thousands of so-called “useless eaters” from the UK’s benefit books.

Sonia Deleon’s story is a classic example; you can read about it here.

In brief, almost a year after it was revealed that a policy was in place to deny NHS Covid-19 care to people with long-term illnesses and disabilities – and NHS bosses then claimed to have warned hospitals, GPs and NHS managers not to make such orders on these people, Sonia Deleon was deliberately allowed to die because a DNR order on her had been made.

Hospital authorities claimed that it the order had been agreed with Ms Deleon’s family but they deny this strenuously.

Ms Deleon had learning disabilities and the circumstances of her death are not only a scandal in themselves but are a continuation of a national disgrace.

And I was criticised for highlighting this atrocity – by someone claiming to be a nurse.

I won’t take this matter further by seeking to identify the NHS trust for which this person works and requesting that they be reminded of the facts and properly disciplined for trying to mislead the public. I may change my mind if any further attempts at deception result from this article.

But I will take the opportunity to request that anybody who has relatives living with a long-term illness or disability, or a learning disability, should contact the NHS and ensure that orders equivalent to death sentences have not been applied to their loved ones without their knowledge.

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Incredible sulk: and Johnson will have a lot to sulk about if MPs tighten rules on lying

Temper, temper: Boris Johnson lost his rag in PMQs over repeated accusations of dishonesty and sleaze. Trouble is, his outburst contained at least one more false claim.

It had to happen at a Prime Minister’s Questions that This Writer didn’t see.

For once, Labour leader Keir Starmer had a good week – but then, with the kind of ammunition he has been provided over the last few days, he could hardly go wrong.

He spent most of his time on the financing of renovations to Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat. Questions over the origin of £60,000 of funding were asked months ago and not answered.

Now, Starmer asked directly whether the money – now pegged at £58,000 – was put up by Lord Brownlow – and Johnson failed to answer directly.

Rather than saying whether Brownlow had any involvement, he simply asserted – repeatedly – that he himself had “covered the cost”.

It would be entirely possible for Johnson to have “covered the cost” after receiving the money from a third party – and the fact that he did not flatly deny any involvement by Brownlow means his claim is meaningless.

But it may be Starmer’s first question that turns out to have been the bigger bear-trap. He asked whether it was true that Johnson had said he would rather have “bodies piled high” than implement another lockdown.

Johnson answered with a categorical “no”, coupled with a demand for Starmer to bring forward any evidence he had.

That may seem fairly straightforward.

But then Starmer said he would follow up on his question in the future.

And then the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford waded into the fray. Acknowledging that MPs aren’t allowed to directly accuse each other of dishonesty, he simply asked Johnson to say whether he is a liar or not.

And Johnson wouldn’t:

As you can see from the clip, first he tried to worm out of answering by querying whether the question was in order – it was.

Then he (again) questioned the evidence of him having done as Blackford (and Starmer) had suggested.

And then he responded that he had not said those words (leading us all to conclude that they may be a close paraphrase of whatever he really said).

Under this kind of pressure, perhaps it should come as no surprise that, while responding to Starmer’s claim that he was “Major Sleaze”*, Johnson underwent what might be described as a “sulk-out” – a two-minute rant that failed to address what he had been asked…

… including another false claim – that Starmer had voted against the Tory government’s Brexit deal.

And this is important, because…

As a result of all these accusations of dishonesty, Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle has supported a plan to enforce the rules on misleading Parliament.

Amid a fresh row over the prime minister’s “lies” to MPs, Lindsay Hoyle supported a proposal for the cross-party Commons Procedure Committee to look into “how perceived inaccuracies could be corrected” as quickly as possible.

This could create serious difficulties for Johnson, whose serial lies were mentioned on This Site very recently.

You see, Starmer is right – any minister who knowingly misleads Parliament – including the Prime Minister – is expected to offer their resignation.

If the Procedure Committee puts this expectation on a more formal basis – and Starmer produced the evidence that Johnson did make a comment to the effect that he would rather see multiple deaths than impose a lockdown – then that would signal the end of his premiership.

And it wouldn’t be a day too soon.

*That should be Major Corruption, as reported a few days ago by This Site (and others) – but perhaps Starmer was restricted from saying as much by Parliamentary rules (again).

Source: Boris Johnson Facing Tough New Rules To Force Him To Correct ‘Lies’ To Parliament | HuffPost UK

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PMQs: Starmer misses Johnson’s gaping-open goal, allowing the Tory to make a fool of him

Johnson and Starmer: we have a PM for whom the initials more appropriately refer to him as a Performing Monkey, but the ‘forensic’ former Attorney General is incapable of beating him, despite his incompetence.

Keir Starmer’s protestations of support for Tory government anti-Covid policies came back to bite him on the arse in Prime Minister’s Questions.

Two weeks after supporting the government in its decision to close pubs at 10pm, Starmer u-turned, demanding an explanation of the science behind it. He gave Johnson a perfect opportunity to land a knockout blow – and launch a new anti-Labour soundbite:

I was dismayed:

Sadly, that was the way of it for the whole of this week’s PMQs – as I had feared at the outset:

Look at the rest of my commentary on the confrontation:

He didn’t. But Johnson picked up on that failure and it led to the knockout later on.

As I write this, Jo Coburn on the BBC’s Politics Live is suggesting to Labour’s Stephen Doughty that Starmer wrote Johnson “a blank cheque” by offering his support “whatever restrictions are in place”.

That failure – that lack of closure – seems to have given Johnson the confidence to launch his own attack.

I could have done better:

Starmer is under attack at the moment, for his failures to lead an effective Opposition against the Johnson government.

On Twitter, the general public are at each other’s throats with many attacking him under the #StarmerOut hashtag, while others have tried to subvert that with an opposing line, #StarmerOutstanding.

In the real world, the union Unite has withdrawn 10 per cent of its funding because Starmer “isn’t listening” on matters of major importance (I’ll make more of this in a separate article).

If he can’t respond to these criticisms – as he failed to protect himself from Johnson soundbiting him into shreds – then he must seriously reconsider his position.

He is leading Labour into irrelevance.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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