tv Prime Minister on Investigation Into Lockdown Parties CSPAN January 31, 2022 8:01pm-8:47pm EST
>> and i don't c-span, boris johnson faces questions about his leadership from members of the house of commerce. then an update on the situation between russia and ukraine from the pentagon and state department. later, a discussion on human rights abuses in china ahead of the winter olympics in beijing. >> british prime minister boris johnson is resisting calls to resign after new report found failures of leadership and judgment, involving alleged social gatherings at the prime minister's residence when the u.k. was on lockdown due to the covid-19 pandemic. in a statement, the prime minister apologized and promised changes to how his office operates. the police are conducting their own investigation into the matter. >> before we move onto the first statement, i would like to ensure the house that the comments made at the start of question. >> here.
>> there will be an opportunity to pay tribute to our late calling. that will take place on wednesday. we will welcome the opportunity to pay tribute significant.so at that point. i should inform the house even the brief time available, i wish -- i should be allowing the leaders of the opposition a little longer to question the prime minister. >> hear. hear. >> mr. speaker with your personal mission -- or permission i would like to make a statement.
i will address its findings in the statement but first i would like to say sorry. i am sorry for the things we do not get right and sorry for the way this matter has been handled. it is no use saying this or that was within the rules and no use saying people are working hard. this pandemic was hard for everyone. we ask people across the country to make the most extraordinary sacrifices. not to meet loved ones, not to visit relatives before they died , and i understand the anger of the people feel. mr. speaker, it is not enough to say sorry. this is a moment when we look at ourselves in the mirror and we must learn. while the metropolitan police must yet complete their investigation, that means there
are no details to specific events in the report, i have course except the general findings in full. above all, her recommendation that we must learn from these events and act now. with respect to the police investigation, she says and i quote, no conclusions should be drawn or inferences made from this other than it is up to the police to consider relevant material in relation to the instance, but more broadly, she finds there is significant learning to be drawn from these events which must be addressed immediately across government. this does not need to wait for the police investigations to be concluded. that is why we are making changes now to the way downing street and the cabin is run so -- the cabinet office is run so we can get on with the jobs, mr. speaker and the job of the government.
>> hear.first, it is time to sort out what is really called a fragmented and complicated leadership structures of downing street, which she says, to meet the demands of the expansion of number we will do that, 10. including by creating an office of the prime minister with a permanent secretary number 10. second, mr. speaker, it is clear from the report at this time not -- that it is time, not just to review the civil service and special advisors code of conduct , wherever necessary, to ensure they take account of the recommendation, but also to ensure the codes are properly enforced. third, i will be seeing more in the coming days about the steps we will take to him prove the -- take to improve the number 10 operation and the work of a cabinet office, to strengthen cabinet government and improve
the vital connection between number 10 and parliament. mr. speaker, i get it. and i will fix it. [inaudible] and i want to say to the people of this country, i know what the issue is. it is whether this government can be trusted to deliver and i say, yes, we can be trusted. we can be trusted to deliver. we said we would get brexit done and we did. we are setting up around the united kingdom, i've been to one today which is grading tens of -- is creating tens of thousands of new jobs. we said we would get this country through covid and we did. we delivered the fastest acting
rule out in europe and the fastest booster program of any major economy, we have been able to restore freedoms faster than any probable economy. at the same time, we have been cutting crime by 14%, building 14 new hospitals and rolling out gigabit broadband to deliver all the promises of the 2019 agenda so we have the fastest economic growth of the g7. we have shown we have done things that people thought were impossible, and we can deliver. mr. speaker, i remind the reason we are coming out of covid so fast is partly because we doubled the speed of the booster rollout and i can tell the house and this country we are going to bring the same energy and commitment to getting on with the job to delivering to the british people and to our mission to unite and level up
across the country. i commend the statement to the house. i now call on the leader of opposition. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i would like to thank sue gray for the diligence and professionalism she is carried out her work. it is no fault of hers she has only been able to produce an update, not the full report. the prime minister repeatedly assured the house the guidance was followed and the rules were followed. but we now know the 12 cases have reached the threshold for criminal investigation. i remind the house, it means there is evidence of serious and and fragrant breaches of lockdown, including the party on the 20th of may 2020, which we know the prime minister attended and the party on the 13th of november 2020 in the prime minister's flat.
there can be no doubt the prime minister himself is now subject to criminal investigation. the prime minister must keep his promise to publish sue gray's report in full when it is available. it is already clear the report discloses the most damming conclusion possible. over the last two years the , british public has been asked to make the most heart-wrenching sacrifices, a collective trauma endured by all, enjoyed by none. funerals have been missed, dying relatives and visited, -- dying relatives on visited. -- dying relatives unvisited. every family has been marked by what we have been through. revelations about the prime ministers behavior have forced us all to rethink and relive those darkest moments. many have been overcome by rage, grief and even guilt. guilt that because they stuck to the law, they did not see their
parents one last time. guilt that because they did not bend the rules, that children went months without seeing friends. guilt that because they did as they were asked, they did not go and visit lonely relatives. but people should not feel , guilty. they should feel pride in themselves and their country , because by abiding by those rules, they saved the lives of people they will probably never meet. they have showing the deep -- they have shown the deep public spirit and love and respect for others that is characterized this nation as its -- at its best. a story about covid is one of the people that stood up when they were tested. that will be forever tainted by behavior of this conservative prime minister. by routinely breaking the rules
he set, the prime minister took us all for fools. he held people's sacrifice in contempt. he showed himself unfit for office. his desperate denial since he was exposed have only made matters worse. rather than come clean, every step of the way, he has insulted the public's intelligence. , now he has finally fallen back on his usual excuse, it is everybody's fault but his. they go, he stays. even now, he is hiding behind a police investigation into criminality. [inaudible] mr. speaker, he gleefully treats what should be a mark of shame as a welcome shield. but prime minister, the british public armed force, they never believed a word of it. they think the prime minister should do the decent thing and resign.
of course, he will not because he is a man without shame. and just as he has done throughout his life, he has damaged everyone and everything around him along the way. his colleagues have spent weeks defending the indefensible, touring tv studios, parroting his absurd denial, preying upon -- depriving themselves and their offices, preying upon trust between the government. >> from a neighbor, i expect better from my neighbors. >> preying upon the trust between the government and public, eroding democracy and the rule of law. margaret thatcher once said the first duty of government is to uphold the law. if it tries to bob and weave and duck around that duty when inconvenient, then so will the governed.
mr. speaker, to govern this country is an honor. not a birthright. it is an active service to the british people. it is not the keys of the court to parade to your friends. it requires honesty, integrity of moral authority. i cannot tell you how many times people have said to me that this prime minister's lack of integrity is somehow priced in. his behavior and character do not matter. i have never accepted that and i never will accept that. whatever your politics, whichever party you vote for, honesty and decency matters. democracy depends on it. cherishing and nurturing democracy is what it means to be patriotic. there are members who know that, -- members opposite to know that, and they know the prime
minister is incapable of it. the question they must now ask themselves, is what are they going to do about a? -- what are they going to do about it? they can keep their reputations, the reputation of their party, the reputation of this country on the bonfire that is his leadership or they can spare the country from a prime minister totally unworthy of his responsibility. it is their duty to do so. they know better than anyone how unsuitable he is for high office, many of them knew in their hearts that we were never to come to this monday, this -- this one day. they know that as night follows day, continuing his leadership will mean further misconduct, cover-up and deceit. it is only they that can end this farce, the eyes of the country are upon them. they will be judged why the decisions they take now.
>> there is a reason he said absolutely nothing about the report. mr. speaker, the report says absolutely nothing to substantiate the tissue of nonsense, absolutely nothing. instead, a former republic prosecution, mr. speaker, he chose to use this moment to continually prejudge a police inquiry. he chose to use this moment. he used this moment to prejudge a police inquiry. he reached his conclusion. i am not going to reach any conclusions. he would be entirely wrong to do so. i direct him again to what sue gray says in her report about
the conclusion that will be drawn from her inquiry about what the police may or may not do. mr. speaker, i have complete confidence in the police and i hope they will be allowed to get on with their job and i do not propose to offer any more commentary about it and i do not believe he should, either. i must say to him, the country, with the greatest respect, what i think the country wants to focus on is the issues that matter to them. getting on, we are taking this country forward and mr. speaker, today we have delivered more freedoms of the new court. as i said, when he voted 48 times to take the country back to the eu, we have the most open society, most open economy.
because of the vaccine rollout, because of the booster rollout. never forget he voted to keep us in the european. today, we are standing together with nato allies against the potential aggression of vladimir putin when he wanted, not so long ago, to install a prime minister a labor leader who would have abolished nato. that is what he believes in. those are his priorities. i can say to him, he can continue with his political opportunism, we are going to get on and i am going to get on with the job. >> hear. hear. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the covid regulation and pose significant restrictions on the freedom of members of the public. they had a right to expect their
prime minister to have read the rules, understand the meaning of the rules. and believed that those around them to have been the same. and set an example in following those rules. what the report does show 10 downing street is that 10 downing street was not observing the regulations they imposed on members of the public. either they did not read the rules or did not understand what they met, or they did not think the rules applied to number 10. which was a after -- which was it? >> it is a very important question. i want to hear the answer before other people go. five minutes, sir. >> no mr. speaker. that is not what the report says. i suggest she waits to see the conclusion of the inquiry.
>> thank you, mr. speaker. it is a pleasure to follow the former prime minister. like many that went before him, the dignity about the importance of the office the state, of , truthfulness and the prime minister we were well advised to focus on those that have not dishonored the office like he has done. mr. speaker, we stand here today faced with the defamation of public trust in government and the institution of the state. that is hard. a prime minister being investigated why the police. -- by the police. there we have it. the long-awaited sue gray report, what a farce. it was carefully engineered to be a fact-finding exercise with no conclusions. now, we find it is a
fact-finding exercise with no facts. so, let us talk facts. the prime minister has told the house that all guidance was completely followed. there was no party. covid rules were followed. i believed it was a work event. nobody believed them then, and nobody believes you now, prime minister. that is the crux. no if's, but's. he has willfully misled parliament. >> order! >> inadvertence. misled the house is not acceptable. >> the prime minister inadvertently told the house
that no parties had taken place, but they had. it is bad enough mr. speaker, , the prime minister's personal integrity is in a ditch. but this monkey business is tainting everything around us. it is his own intention. it struck the prime minister to publish the sue gray report in full, for the prime minister, of being in obstruction by the house to publish as required. , mr. speaker, amidst allegations of blackmail, the members opposite have been defending the indefensible. wait for the report, we were told. here it is, it tells us very little except it does state there were failures of leadership and judgment by different parts of number 10. it states some events should not have been allowed to take place. that is the prime ministers responsibility. if there is any honor in public life, he would resign.
and the prime minister laughed. we ought to remind ourselves in this house of 150,000 plus of our citizens have lost their lives. family members that could not be with them, that is the site people will remember. a prime minister laughing at the public. i extend a hand of friendship to all of those that have sacrificed, i do not extend a hand of friendship to the prime minister who is no friend of mine. where is the shame? where is the dignity? meanwhile, the police investigation to drag on and on. every moment the prime minister stays, trust in government and the rule of law is ebbing away. the litany of rule breaking, the culture of content, the utter disdain for the english felt by
-- for the english felt by the public who have sacrificed so much. -- for the anguish felt by the public who has sacrificed so much. what the public sees is a man who has defaced the office of prime minister, dodged accountability and blamed his staff at every turn. presiding over corruption and tainted the institutions of the state. in short, this is a man, he can laugh. they can laugh. but the public knows, the public knows that this is a man they can no longer trust. he has been investigated by the police, he misled the house. he must now resign. >> order. would like to withdraw that last comment? >> i gave the evidence of the eighth of november. >> you are going to have to what sean misled.
-- you are going to have to withdraw miss the lead -- misled. >> the prime minister has mislead the house. >> unless you withdraw, i will have to stop, and that is not good. >> i am standing up for my constituents who know their prime minister has lied and misled the house. >> i will give you one more chance as leader of the s&p, i'm going to give you this chance. >> please. that man has misled the house. >> shut up. i'm sorry it comes to this, i am sorry the leader of the party has not got the decency to withdraw those words in order for this debate to be -- can be represented by all political leaders. would you like to inadvertently? >> if the prime minister has inadvertently misled by house, i
will say that. >> we are going to leave it at that. >> mr. speaker, i am grateful to the gentleman withdrawing what he said, he was wrong then and i am afraid he is wrong in his analysis. i apologize, as i have said. i apologize for all of the suffering people have had, the anger people feel about what has taken place in 10 downing street. but i have got to tell the right honorable gentlemen for much of what he said, his best course is to simply wait for the inquiry. >> can i just say, i think the honorable member has withdrawn. >> the prime minister may have inadvertently misled the house. >> order. to help out, you have withdrawn your earlier comments.
>> it is not my fault the prime minister cannot be trusted. >> under the power given to me by governing order number 43, i asked the honorable member to withdraw from the house. that is alright, we do not need to bother. let us move on. >> does my right honorable friend record that -- recall ever since he joined the party 30 years ago, until we got him to number 10, he enjoyed my full support. i am deeply concerned by these events and very concerned indeed by some of the things he has said and has said to the british public and our constituents. when he kindly invited me to see him 10 days ago, i told him i thought he should think very carefully about what was never the best interest of our country and the conservative party.
i have to tell him, he no longer enjoys my support. >> hear, hear! >> mr. speaker, i must respectfully, my honorable friend, the admiration i have of him, i simply think he is mistaken in his views and i urge him to reconsider upon full consideration of inquiry. >> thank you, mr. speaker, the prime minister told us and i am quoting, repeatedly been assured since allegations emerged that there was no party and no covid rules are broken. we now know 12 of the 16 parties are subject to a police investigation and the remaining four, sue gray says she has seen
a serious failure to observe the high standards at number 10. she has seen failure of leadership, failure of judgment , and the prime minister thinks this is funny. just how bad do things have to be before he takes personal responsibility? how long until he does what everyone in this country wants him to do, and resign. >> mr. speaker, we are doing is taking the action i have described to set up a prime minister department, improve the operation of number 10 and we will be taking further steps, mr. speaker, in the days ahead. >> speaker, the inquiry has found serious failings and has suggested that there be changes in the way number 10 is run. there is a real opportunity to take this new office of the prime minister and insure further improvements are made so
we can carry on delivering. this government will carry on delivering on the things that matter most to people while also making sure that the government within number 10 is improved. >> i think my friend, i think he is right. i think the opposition want to keep their focus trained on this aspect. that is their decision. i think what people in this country want us to do is get on with the job they want us to do. that is to serve them, mr. speaker and stop talking about >> mr. speaker, there is no word in the english language for a parent who has lost a child. there is a lot that is beyond words. a loss that hundreds of thousands of parents have tragically experienced during this pandemic.
money -- many had to bury their children alone, many cannot be with them at the end. meanwhile, number 10 parted. does the prime minister understand? does he care about the norm is hurt his actions have caused to families across our country? we finally accept that the only decent thing he can do now is to resign. >> mr. speaker, i do care deeply about the hurt that is felt across the country, about the suggestion that things are going on in number 10. i understand how deeply people feel about things as they are. i have apologized several times. i must say, i think we should wait for the outcome by the inquiry before jumping to the conclusions that he has and in the meantime focus on the
matters that matter to the british people. >> speaker, the public has been frustrated. today, the prime minister announced his new office -- please announce what specific measures will be put in place of this house can be held accountable? >> mr. speaker, we will make sure there is a new secretary. we will make sure the codes of conduct that are applied and enforced, and all that will be properly communicated to the house. what i want to see is much better communication and link between number 10 and the entire house of commons, and we will do that. >> here, here. thank you, mr. speaker.
yesterday at the local store in my constituency, why doesn't the prime minister realize that as every day goes by, why doesn't the prime minister realize that? how would he respond to that? >> i think the reputation of our country around the world is built on the fastest vaccine rollout in europe. it is built on having the fastest growth in the g7 and built on our ability to bring our allies together to stand up against vladimir putin. that is what the world is focused on, that is what he should be focused on. >> thank you, mr. speaker. can my right honorable friend
remind the leader of the opposition of the labour party that the back benches of the conservative party need no reminders about how to dispose of a failing leader? can he also, when he is restructuring number 10, concentrate on the fact that the country wants results? we can see the point of such a large number 10 superstructure? it needs to be slimmed-down and streamlined, and can i commend his determination to restore cabinet government based on results over the next two months of what you will be judged? >> mr. speaker, i thank my right honorable friend very much for that and i think he is entirely right. i am more than content to be judged on the results we have delivered and the results we will deliver.
i am sure goopy assisted by the reforms of number 10. >> thank you, mr. speaker. anybody who has actually read the temporary report can only wonder what was made to leave out. will the prime minister give the house and undertaking that as soon he is able, he will release the full unredacted report to this house? >> mr. speaker, sue gray has published everything that she can and i propose we wait until the conclusion of the inquiry. but in the meantime, i think it's pico here the report is being simultaneously hailed as deming but also condemned for not having enough in it. it can't be both. >> president truman had on his
desk the buck stops here. the prime minister was right to apologize for the events. two weeks ago, i reminded tom horwood that tony blair suggested there should be an officer of the prime minister so they should not be covered by 70 whitehall, but by the building itself. can the prime minister tell me how he envisions the office for work? will the permanent secretary be based in number 10, controlling what civil servants to in number 10? >> i am grateful for my right honorable friend. as many people outside don't understand, number 10 hosts more than 400 officials, they have a huge amount to do.
we need to make sure, no mr. speaker, they are working very hard. we need to make sure there are proper lines of authority and we sort out the command structures. that is what we are doing. >> thank you you, mr. speaker. whatever the police decide, this update would be enough to persuade the prime minister to resign. this prime minister could resign , or he may try to delay and take his party down with them. mr. speaker, is this not clear, that with notable exceptions, his back benches should discover their backbone? >> mr. speaker, i've answered several questions. i must ask them to look at the report properly, and wait for the requiring -- inquiry when it
comes. >> thank you very much. we have been asked to keep some sense of perspective, and i think that is right. the question here is whether those who make the law obey them. that is pretty fundamental. many have question, including some of my constituents, the prime minister's honesty and integrity and fitness to hold that office. in judging him, he rightly asks us to wait for all of the facts. sue gray made it clear in her update she could not produce a meaningful report with the facts. can i ask the prime minister the question that the honorable lady asked him to which he did not give an answer? when sue gray produces all of the facts in her full report after the investigation, will he commit to publish it immediately and in full? >> mr. speaker, what we have got
to do is wait for the police to conclude their inquiry, that is the proper thing to do. people have given all sorts of evidence, at that stage, i will make a decision. >> i imagine i am going to have to wait for something else. can i simply ask the prime minister, was the prime minister present at the events in his flat on the 13th of november? i assume he does not need other people to tell him whether he was there or not. was he at the flat event listed in the report? >> mr. speaker, i am very
grateful to the honorable lady for inviting me to comment on something that is being investigated, but with great respect to her, she will have to wait. >> mr. speaker, saying sorry is very important. but my right honorable friend will be judged by the deed he undertakes as a result. i heard today a proper acknowledgment that he needs to look in the mirror. i'm glad to hear about reforms to the center of government that i think are timely, overdue. would he give me and the house this undertaking, that he cooperates -- in cooperating, he will show the appropriate tone and approach that i think the british public commend of him as a person of serious purpose, who
is up to the level of events? that is what we expect from him now, and that is what i'm expecting him to do. >> i thank my right honorable friend very much. i have great admiration for the metropolitan police and full confidence in the police. i just suggest that they be allowed to get on with their jobs. >> thank you, mr. speaker. we now know that there is a criminal investigation into the party that took place on the 13th of november 2020 in his flat to celebrate the exit of mr. cummings. on the eighth of december last year, he came to that dispatch box and flatly denied the very idea that any such party had taken place. he is shaking his head.
he said it had not happened. he had adverted only misrepresented the house. at the very least he should get to that dispatch box >> and correct the record. >>no, mr. speaker, i stand by what i said that i would simply urge him to wait for the outcome of the inquiry. >> thank you, mr. speaker. may i advise my right honorable friend publicly but i have sent to emissaries from his campaign privately. that it is truly in his interest, in the government's interest, and in the national interest that he should insist on receiving a full, unredacted
report immediately as i believe he can, and then he should then publish a version without any further delay. >> i think of sensibly, the advice has been taken on this point. sue gray has published everything she thinks she can consistent with that advice. >> thank you, mr. speaker. if the investigation results in serious charges, for example, misconduct in public office, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, how does the prime minister feel about having to give evidence? >> i am not going to speculate about hypothetical questions,
which frankly i reject. >> mr. speaker, you will know it is a rare event for any prime minister to come to this house and apologize. does my right honorable friend agree that there should be due process, there should be free and unfettered access for all at number 10, but most of all, there should be no prejudging or undermining of the inquiry before it is concluded? >> i completely agree. i am shocked by some commentary i've heard. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the thing is, this is who the prime minister is. a serious failure. failures of leadership and judgment.
gatherings that should have not been able to take place. staff to frighten to raise concern. parties in his own private flat. a leopard does not change its spots, does it? every single one who defends this will face this again, again, and again. he still need to admit that when he came to us and said that the guidance and rules were followed at all times, and all the goblins were observed, that those things simply were not true. if he won't correct the record today, there is nothing accidental about this, is there? it is delivered. >> i do not know what he is trying to say. i direct him again to the point
made by sue gray, that no conclusions should be drawn or inferences made other than it is now time for the police to consider the relevant material. that is what the house should allow them to do. >> this week on c-span networks, the house and senate are in session. the senate will vote on nominations including amy gottman to serve as u.s. ambassador to germany and rita joe louis to be president of the export, or bank area on tuesday, two hearings. they will appear before the senate homeland security committee. then at 2:30 p.m. eastern live on c-span.org and the app, they will testify before the senate budget committee. on thursday, 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3, former employees of the washington football team testify about reports of sexual
harassment, abuse and discrimination. the hearing comes a day after the team is expected to announce its new name. watch this week, live on the c-span networks, or on c-span now. our mobile video app. also head over to c-span.org for scheduling information or stream video anytime. c-span. your unfiltered view of government. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies and more, including cox. >> cox is committed to providing eligible families access to affordable internet. bridging the digital divide one connected and engaged student at a time. cox. bring us closer. >> cox support c-span as a public service, along with these other television providers, giving you