tv Prime Minister on Investigation Into Lockdown Parties CSPAN February 6, 2022 5:20pm-5:53pm EST
our podcasts on the new c-span now at. boris is resisting calls to resign following accusations of lapses in judgment. in a statement to the house of commons, the prime minister apologized and promised changes to how his office operates. the police are criminally conducting their own investigation into the matter. 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 parliament is in session, we bring you prime ministers questions each sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern.
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