tv Prime Ministers Questions Prime Ministers Question Time CSPAN January 30, 2022 9:01pm-9:42pm EST
morning program, washington journal, where we hear your voices every day. c-span now has you covered. download the app for free today. british prime minister boris johnson faced demands to resign because of parties at his official residence that violated the countries covid-19 protocols. during prime minister's question time, he also answered questions about climate change, northern ireland, ukraine, and tensions betweeni would like same languae interpretation is available to watch on parliament live tv. we start with prime minister's questions. >> mr. speaker as my right honorable friend from northern ireland remarked earlier this morning, this sunday marks a tragic day in our history. this is one of the darkest days of the troubles.
and the 50th anniversary of bloody sunday. i echo his call to learn from the past, to reconcile, and build a shared prosperous future. this morning i had meetings with colleagues and others. i shall have further such meetings later today. >> did the prime minister agree with the counselor of the exchequer, writing off 4.3 billion pounds of fraud? that is 154 pounds for every household in the country that went directly into the pockets of fraudsters. >> of course not, mr. speaker. we do not support fraud for those who steal from the public. what i can tell her is that everybody in this country should
be very proud of the huge effort that was made to secure ventilators and secure ppe, and at this time captain hindsight and others -- [indiscernible] >> thank you, mr. speaker. my hospital has recently issued all of its staff and volunteers with a metal enriched -- in recognition of the work that they continue to do through the pandemic. with the prime minister join me in thanking him for the incredible work they are doing, including the specialist teams who have had to act as families? and will he consider following their lead in issuing a national service medal for all of our key workers who did such an outstanding job in keeping our country going through the pandemic? prime min. johnson: yes, of
course, mr. speaker. i think my honorable friend, and i'm pleased so many volunteers have been recognized in the new year's. i have seen the metal they are proposing, and i think it is lovely, mr. speaker. as i told the house before, we are establishing a u.k. commission on covert commemoration to consider how we can commemorate everything we have all been through in the commission will also consider how we can recognize the courage of frontline workers. >> we now come to the leader of the opposition, kier starmer. >> thank you, mr. speaker. can i join the prime minister in relation to his comments on bloody sunday. the code says ministers who knowingly mislead parliament will be expected to offer their resignation. as the prime minister believed that applies to him? prime min. johnson: mr. speaker, of course, but let me tell the
house that i think he is inviting a question about an investigation which is come -- as you know, i can't comment, in which he is a lawyer, will know that i cannot comment on, and what i am focusing on is delivering the fastest recovery of any european economy from covid, the fastest booster rollout. and we are launching a policy tomorrow, mr. speaker. he talks about people being out of work, and in my case -- i understand why he wants it. we will get half a million people off welfare, and to work. it is a fantastic idea. i hope he supports it. >> i think the prime minister said the code does apply to him, and therefore if he misled
parliament he should resign. on the first of december the prime minister told this house in relation to lockdown, all guidance was followed in number 10. on the eighth of december -- looks quizzical, he said it. on the eighth of december prime minister told this house, i have been repeatedly assured there was no party. since he acknowledges the code applies to him, will he now resign? prime min. johnson: no, mr. speaker. since he asked about covid restrictions, let me remind the house and the country that he has been relentlessly opportunistic. he has flip-flopped from one side to the other. he would have kept up in
lockdown in the summer. it is precisely because we did not listen to captain hindsight that we have the fastest-growing economy in the g7, mr. speaker. and we have got all of the big calls right. mp starmer: they are going to have to go out and defend some of this nonsense. sue gray voted to the police, having found evidence of
behavior that is potentially a criminal offense. you do not understand the significance of what happened yesterday, i do despair. because the police -- prime minister, the police having gotten that material from sue gray, subjected to a test to decide whether to investigate, and that was whether it was the most serious and flagrant type of breach in the rules. the police spelled out that what they meant by that, you ought to have known what they were doing was an offense. there was little ambiguity. >> mr. prime minister. this question will continue. i will hear the question. unfortunately you might not believe this, but other constituents are very interested in both the questions and answers. if movement -- if members do not
wish to hear it, please leave, quietly. here starmer. mp starmer: mr. speaker, having gotten the material from sue gray, the police had to take a decision as to what they had before them was the most serious and flagrant breach of the rules. if members want to laugh at that, laugh. the police spelled out what they meant. they decided on the material they had already got that those involved in or ought to have known what they were doing was an offense and that there was little ambiguity around the absence of any reasonable defense. does the prime minister really not understand the damage his behavior is doing to our country? prime min. johnson: mr. speaker, hope the right honorable gentleman understands the issue he raises is important, there is simply no ray, as he knows, as a lawyer, that i can comment on the investigation he is
currently -- what he also knows -- he talks about the most serious issue before the public today in the world today. it is almost as if he is an ignorance of the fact we have a crisis on the borders of ukraine , and what is going on in the cabinet room of this country is that the u.k. government -- no, mr. speaker. u.k. government is bringing together so that we have -- [indiscernible] the foreign secretary and defense secretary to bring the west together to have the toughest possible package of sanctions to deter president putin from what i think would be a reckless and catastrophic invasion. that is what this government is doing. i think he needs to raise his game, frankly.
mp starmer: can i just say, honestly -- can i just say to both sides, tensions are running high, and what we need to be able to do is allow the people out there who are bothered to hear what is said on both sides. so, please, let's give the respect our constituents deserve. here starmer. mp starmer: this was the prime minister who went into hiding because of these allegations. talk to me about being around allegations. mr. speaker. >> can i just say, i don't want to do this, but i'm determined to make sure our constituents can hear. the next person who stops my hearing will not be continuing in this debate. mp starmer: the prime minister's
continual defense is, for the sue gray report. on the eighth of december he told this house i will place a copy of the report in the library of the house of commons. his spokesperson has repeatedly stated that means the full report, not part, not a summary, not an edited copy. can the prime minister confirm that he will publish the full sue ray report as he receives it? prime min. johnson: mr. speaker, we have to leave the report to the independent investigator, as he knows. when i receive it of course i will do exactly what i said. but i can tell him that in the meantime i think what the people of this country want to hear is what we are doing to tackle the issues that matter to all of us. fixing the cost of living, mr. speaker, helping people across
the country by lifting the living wage, mr. speaker. helping people with their fuel costs, mr. speaker. and by cutting the tax of people on universal credit. cutting the tax by 1000 pounds. and mr. speaker, the party opposite our abolishing credit. that is their policy. >> keir starmer. mp starmer: [indiscernible] [laughter] the police say the evidence meets the test. the public have made up their mind. they know he is not fit for the job, and that is what matters here. throughout this scandal the toys have done immense damage to public trust. the leader of the scottish conservatives said the leader should resign. the leader of the house called him a lightweight. english conservatives publicly undermining the union by treating scotland with arlette -- without her disdain. how much damage are the prime
minister's cap not prepared to do to save his skin? prime min. johnson: well, mr. speaker, i think he was offering yet more general criticism of what has been going on in downing street. let me just remind the house. we have been prioritizing the covid battle, mr. speaker. investing massively in 9 million more, and making sure we have 44,000 more people -- they didn't vote for, mr. speaker. they don't support it. 44,000 more people in our nhs then there were in 2020. and we are fixing social care. which labor did absolutely nothing. they have no plan at all. to fix the nhs or to fix social care.
vote labor, wait longer. >> mr. starmer. mp starmer: the reality is we now have the shameful spectacle of a prime minister being subject to a police investigation. unable to lead the country, and capable of doing the right thing, and everyday day his failed to speak out have become more and more complicit. and what is damning is that this is all happening when petrol prices and energy bills are going through the roof. three months ago labor suggested cutting energy bills. still the government has failed to act. instead of getting on with their jobs, they have wheeled out to save his. whatever he says in his statement later today or tomorrow will not change the fact, isn't this a prime minister and a government that have shown nothing but contempt
for the decency, honesty, and respect that define this country? prime min. johnson: no, mr. speaker. we love this country and we are doing everything in our power. of course he wants me out of the way, mr. speaker. of course he wants me out of the way. many people -- of course for many reasons people name up -- they want me out of the way. he knows this government can be trusted to deliver. and we delivered on brexit, mr. speaker. he voted 48 times to take this country back into the european union. we delivered the fastest vaccine rollout in europe, mr. speaker. and we will deliver on our plan to unite and level up across the whole of the u.k..
job vacancies at a record high. colossal investment -- yes, mr. speaker. we are delivering and they have no plan. we have a vision for this country as the most prosperous and successful economy in europe because we are going to night and level up. the problem with the labour party is that he is a lawyer, not a leader. we have taken the tough decision >> i would have thought if the prime minister of this side of the house, i'm surprised that this side of the house doesn't want to listen to him. prime min. johnson: mr. speaker, i wanted to add that we have
taken the tough decision, we have gotten the big calls right, and in particular i'm getting on with the job. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the welsh government has been dragging its feet on urgent repairs to the newbridge road. while in contrast the prime minister and his government have delivered record leveling up fund investment of 13.3 million. will the prime minister comment on how the next phase of the leveling up funds will bring hope and prosperity to other communities right across our proud union of the united kingdom? speaker hoyle: prime minister. prime min. johnson: i think my friend very much. i am delighted that a conservative government has no investing so massively in
leveling up across the whole of wales. speaker hoyle: we now come to the leader of the snp. >> thank you you, mr. speaker. and can i associate myself with the prime minister and bloody sunday. tomorrow is holocaust memorial day, when 6 million jews lost their lives. and of course we remember other genocides, recently in bosnia, and we pray for continued peace in that country. mr. speaker, at the heart of this matter we have a prime minister who is being investigated by the police for breaking his own laws. absolutely unprecedented. a man who demeans the office of prime minister. this is the latest in a rap sheet that is already a mile long.
misleading the house, decorating with dodgy cash. partying while the public suffers. every moment he stays he is dragging out the agony for families who are reminded of the sacrifices they made. and dragging his party further through the dirt. the house knows it. even his own mps know it. when will the prime minister go? prime min. johnson: mr. speaker, i wanted to join the right honorable gentlemen and echo his sentiments about holocaust memorial day, where i think he is completely right. but i must say that he made the same point last week. he is wrong then, he is wrong now, much as i enjoyed cooperating -- it is precisely because i enjoyed cooperating with him so much, with all of his scottish colleagues, that i
have no intention of doing what he suggests. speaker hoyle: ian blackford. >> every moment the prime minister lingers, every nick in this death by 1000 cuts is sucking attention from the real issues facing the public. brexit and the cost of living have pushed millions of families into poverty. the impending national tax hike hangs like a guillotine, while they eat cake. this is nothing short of a crisis, and the only route to restore public trust is for the prime minister to go. how much longer will tory mps let this go on for? how much more damage are they willing to do? it is time to get this over with. show the prime minister the door. prime min. johnson: mr. speaker, i can tell who has been eating
more cake. [laughter] what i would say to the right honorable gentlemen -- actually, mr. speaker, behind-the-scenes we cooperate well, and i want to continue. >> thank you, mr. speaker. as the prime minister will note from personal experience, the river is one of the most beautiful in europe, yet its fragile ecosystem is being destroyed by phosphates and other pollution. the river crosses the border between england and wales, but so far it has proven impossible to get the environment agency, natural england, and natural resources wales, even to begin planning a single long-term strategy to clean up the river. will the prime minister press those agencies now and the welsh government at last to come to the table, and will he ask ministers to look at the idea of a new national rivers recovery
fund using fines paid to water companies so it can clean the rivers up properly once and for all? prime min. johnson: mr. speaker, i had a memorable swim myself about 5:00 in the morning. it tasted like nectar. i understand the problem he raises. it is important that our beautiful rivers should be clean as well, and my honorable friend, the environment minister, will be visiting the area shortly with or without his swimming trunks. and we are urging the welsh government to take this as seriously as our government did. >> thank you, mr. speaker. prime minister will know that many families across the united kingdom are struggling with the increased cost of rising energy costs, but in northern ireland that is compounded by the protocol. 27% is the increase in the cost
of bringing goods from great britain to northern ireland, when we can get access to those goods. it is costing business 2.5 million pounds every day, almost a billion pounds a year. the prime minister talks about uniting this nation and leveling up. he can do that by removing the irish sea border and restoring northern ireland's fully within the u.k. internal market. prime min. johnson: i must say i support passionately the indignation of right honorable gentlemen, and yet -- yes, mr. speaker. i never thought when we negotiated that this would be -- 200 businesses have stopped supplying northern ireland. foods have been blocked. christmas cards are being surcharged and frankly, mr. speaker, the eu is implementing this in an insane and pettifogging way. need to sort it out and i completely support what he is
saying. >> as my right honorable friend the prime minister has seen in the report published earlier this month by the eac, making recommendations about what should be done in addition to the environment act to clean up our rivers, all of our rivers, and of the recommendations was that they should give guidance to require water companies to invest much more in water treatment in the next round of capital spending approvals. he encourage his secretary of state to give this guidance in the strategic policy statement expected shortly? speaker hoyle: prime minister. prime min. johnson: yes, mr. speaker. my honorable friend is completely right. his committee is going further and faster than any other government to protect and improve the health of our rivers and seas. >> thank you, mr. speaker. happy un-birthday to him,
because just like the mad hatter did not need the excuse of a birthday to have a party, but it didn't it? when he had groups of people singing to him, when illegal gatherings indoors were illegal and communal singing was banned, my constituents think that he has lied. my constituents think that he liked to this house. in my constituents think he liked to them when he was partying and telling them all -- speaker hoyle: in passing, we will consider what you say, but you cannot continue to labor that one point. >> i would prefer to be led by a lawyer than a liar. will he now resigned? -- resign? speaker hoyle: the honorable member will be withdrawing the last comment.
>> i withdrawing. speaker hoyle: prime minister? prime min. johnson: i think the honorable gentlemen, plainly doesn't know what he is talking about. what i can tell him -- what i can tell his constituents is that irrespective of what they want to focus on -- and i understand why they do, mr. speaker -- this government is going to get on with the job of the people of this country. >> the great people of cornwall noted in our prime minister on the promise to get brexit done. it was successful. faced with a global pandemic, our prime minister set out to build a vaccination program to save lives. mr. speaker, he wasn't successful. he listed covid restrictions against pressure and has got the economy back on track.
can i ask my right honorable friend the prime minister, will he continue to deliver on the priorities of my constituents and the millions across this country who voted for him in 2019? prime min. johnson: mr. speaker, i really can't improve on the brilliant question. the people of southeast cornwall are lucky to have -- [indiscernible] and she is right in what she says. speaker hoyle: jonathan edwards. >> tomorrow is the second anniversary since michael leavitt was murdered and his body desecrated in an attempt to cover up the crime. will you meet to discuss the needs for a new offense or amended sentencing guidelines to reflect the murdered victims whose bodies were concealed or desecrated? speaker hoyle: prime minister? prime min. johnson: i think you very much for drawing this
appalling case to the attention of the house, and i can certainly assure him he will be getting the meeting he needs at the earliest opportunity. >> thank you very much, mr. speaker. on the 24th of november i asked the prime minister if you would meet with me and my constituents about the future or lack of future about a hospital in hampstead. last night i was offered a meeting. many children in this country are suffering from a special form of procedure which medical cannabis prescribed actually helps them live. only two children in this country get it free on the nhs. the rest have to scrape to get that prescription issued by a consultant paid for. in the prime minister use his political will -- i know the secretary of state has the political will -- but please push this forward so these
children live. prime min. johnson: i think my honorable friend. i'm delighted he has the meeting he wanted we have already changed the laws for doctors to prescribe cannabis products where appropriate. but, mr. speaker, i'm very keen to support it provided the nhra is happy as well. >> thank you, mr. speaker. threats and intimidation, bribery and blackmail, racism and islamophobia. that is the character is in -- characterization of his government. the prime minister lurches from scandal to scandal, and his government has written off 3.4 billion pounds to fraudsters. instead of writing notes to fraudsters, why wont the prime minister right his resignation to the queen? prime min. johnson: mr. speaker, the majestic -- she talks about racism and islamophobia. look at this government, mr. speaker.
look at the modern conservative party. the other party of hope and opportunity for people across this country, irrespective of race or religion, and we don't care what religion you affirm. all we care is whether you are interested in ideas of aspiration and opportunity. >> the recruitment of 20,000 police officers is a fantastic commitment to law and order by this government. bedfordshire, and common with many other police forces, have lost out on about 95 officers as a result in 2004. so we don't have to rely on one-all special grants, the prime minister we commit to the reformation of the police funding formula in this parliament? prime min. johnson: my right honorable friend the police minister has ensured me -- assured me we will be
introducing a measure. that future has already recruited 100 additional officers as part of our program, and that is part of the 11,000 more this government has put on the streets. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i asked the pm about his commitment. i did not receive a clear answer. cuts to bus lines. prime minister, -- a pledge to buy zero-emission buses? prime min. johnson: i have never -- there has never in the history of this country been such a bonanza for buses. i am putting 5 billion pounds into buses and cycling during this parliament.
and 355 million into new funding for zero-emission buses. of course we want to see the benefits of that funding spread right across the whole of the united kingdom. >> mr. speaker, securing extra health services is a key priority for local residents, as it is for me, the first homegrown mp from bexley. with the prime minister support me and join me in thanking all of the staff at queen mary's for their incredible efforts? prime min. johnson: yes, and i tried to say what a joy it is to work with my honorable friend. i thank him for his work and support for everybody in queen mary's hospital, for which he and i campaigned for many years. last year queen mary's received 800,000 pounds of funding, and i hope it will benefit further from the one million funding to
improve technology services. >> thank you, mr. speaker. a nurse who organized a small socially-distant demonstration against this government's pay cuts was fined 10,000 pounds. people out there are sick of it being one rule for the tories, and another for everyone else. the prime minister, for once, needs to do the decent thing. for god sake, resign. prime min. johnson: mr. speaker, i don't think there was a question there. there is still an invitation for me to do what? of course the labor party wants me to do it. but i'm not going to do it, mr. speaker, because i'm going to continue our journey on leveling up across the country. they know they have no answer to that. have a plan and vision for this country. they have absolutely nothing to say, and that is the difference between our side and their side.
>> alongside the threats of a russian invasion of ukraine there are fears of china invading taiwan. on sunday beijing stage the largest incursion into taiwan's airspace since october. does my friend joined me in that occupation are never acceptable anywhere in the world, and will he confirm that under this conservative government the u.k. will always be at the forefront of standing up forcefully for freedom and democracy, security, and stability? i think my honorable friend. i want to tell them that the chinese military flight is taking place near taiwan are not conducive to peace and stability in the region. we need is a peaceful and constructive dialogue by people on both sides of the taiwan strait. i know that is what my right honorable friend, the foreign secretary, and all colleagues, are working for. that ends -- speaker hoyle: that ends prime minister questions.
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