tv Prime Minister on Breaking COVID-19 Lockdown Rules CSPAN April 20, 2022 6:21am-6:50am EDT
johnson spoke to the house of commons after a police investigation found a broken covid-19 rule. he is the first prime minister ever found to broken the law while in office. the house of commons found an opportunity to address the leader after he spoke. >> prime minister. >> thank you mr. speaker. our update on the government response to at home and abroad -- abroad during easter recess. i will come to ukraine in a moment since i just left a meeting with president biden and eight other world leaders.
let me begin in all humility by saying that on the 12th of april, i received a -- relating to the event on 19 on june. i paid the fine immediately. i offer the british people a full apology. i take this opportunity on the first available sitting day to repeat my apology to the house. as soon as i receive the notice, i acknowledge the hurt and the anger. i said that people had a right to expect better of their prime minister. i repeat that again in the house, now. net me also say -- let me also
say not by way of mitigation or excuse but purely because it explains my previous words in the house that it did not occur to me then or subsequently that a gathering in the capital room -- just before a vital meeting -- could amount to a breach of a rule. that was my mistake and i apologize for it unreservedly. i expect the outcome of the police investigation which is still underway and i can only say i will respect their decision making and take the appropriate steps. i've taken significant steps to change the way things work. it is precisely because i know that so many people are angry
and disappointed. i feel a greater need of obligation to deliver on priorities on the british people and to respond to the best traditions of our company. 210's barbaric onslaught against ukraine. our ukrainian friends are fighting for the fight of their nation. -- repelling be russian assault on kyiv. i share my admiration. the blackened carcasses of his tanks and heavy armor letter -- the smoldering monument to his failure.
ukrainians -- putin has been compelled to withdraw his forces from the entirety of the region. britain and our allies supplied some of the weaponry but it was the ukrainian valor and sacrifice which saved their capital. i traveled to kyiv myself on the ninth of april. the first g-7 leader to visit since the invasion and i spent four hours with president volodymyr zelenskyy. the indomitable leader of a nation fighting for survival that gives the roar of a lion -- lion hearted people. -- shared across this house to join with our allies. and give his break people the weapons they need to defend themselves. when the president and i went through approaching central
kyiv, we happened upon a man who immediately shared his love for britain and the people. he was generous to say i will , tell my children and grandchildren they must always remember that britain helped us. the urgency is even greater now because putin has regrouped his forces and launched in -- a new offensive in the donbass. we knew this danger would come. when i welcomes officials on the 17 on april, the following day, we discussed exactly how we could provide the arms that ukraine would desperately need. to counter putin's next onslaught. i propose that our long-term goal must be to true -- to strengthen and fortify ukraine to the point that russia will
never dare to invade again. just as our foreign policy was looked to the long-term, the same is true for the government start messing hierarchies -- government's domestic priorities. that is why we are spending money to help families struggling with bills. and to and our dependent on putin's oil and gas and to ensure that energy is cheaper in the long term. we -- to make british energy more greener, more affordable and more secure. we will build a new reactor every year. this government is joining with our allies to face down putin's aggression abroad while
addressing the problems at home. helping millions of families for the cost of living. making our street safer to clear covid backlog. my job is to work every day to make the british people, safer, more secure and more prosperous and that is what i will continue to do as i commend his statement. >> leader of the opposition -- >> was a joke. -- what a joke. even now as the latest mealymouthed apology stumbles out of one side of his mouth, a set -- of deflections and distortions pour from the other. but the damage is already done. the public have made up their mind. they don't believe a word the prime minister says. they know what he is.
as ever with this prime minister, those close with him find themselves ruined. the institutions he vows to protect, damaged. ministers forced to walk away from public services. the chancellor's career up in flames. the leader of the scottish conservatives render -- rendered pathetic. for all those unfamiliar with this prime minister's career, this is not some fixable glitch in the system. it is the whole point. it is what he does. it is who he is. he knows he is dishonest and can -- incapable of changing. so he drags everyone else down with him. the more people at the face themselves -- parenting --
parroting. >> care starmer -- kier starmer. >> i do not think that is an appropriate word " dishonest." with all the talk about breaking rules, i do not think -- just withdraw that. i'm sure with the knowledge he has gained, he can use appropriate words in keeping with the temperate language of this house. >> mr. speaker, i respect that ruling from the chair. the prime minister knows what he is, and so he has dragged everyone else with him.
the more people do face themselves, parroting his absurd defenses, the more the public will believe all politicians are the same, and that suits this prime minister just fine. some members opposite seem oblivious to the prime minister's game. some know what he is up to, but are too weak to act, but others are gleefully playing the part the prime minister, cast for them a minister on the radio this morning saying it is the same as a speeding ticket. no it is not! no one had ever broken down in tears because they could not drive faster than 25 miles per hour outside of school. do not insult the public with this nonsense. the last minister who got a speeding ticket and then lied about it, ended up in prison,
and i know because i prosecuted him. [applause] >> last week we were treated to a grotesque spectacle, one of the prime minister's loyal supporters accusing teachers and nurses of drinking in the staff room during lockdown. members opposite can associate themselves with that, if they want, but those of us who take pride in our nhs workers, our teachers, and every other worker who got us through those dark days will never forget their contempt. plenty did not agree with every role the prime minister wrote, but they followed them nonetheless because in this country we respect others. we put the greater good above narrow self-interest, and we
understand the rules apply to all of us. this morning, i spoke to john robinson, a constituent from much field. i want to -- litchfield. i want to tell you his story. when his wife died of covid, john and his family obeyed the prime minister's rules. he did not see her in hospital. he did not hold her hand as she died. their daughters and grandchildren drove 100 miles up the roadway clutching a letter from the funeral director in case they were questioned by police. they did not have a service in the church. john's son-in-law stayed away because he would be the forbidden seventh mourner. doesn't the prime minister realized that john would have
given the world to hold his dying wife's hand even if it were for 9 minutes? he followed the prime minister's rules, rules we now know the prime minister deliberately ignored after months of insulting excuses, today's halfhearted apology will never be enough for john robinson. if the prime minister had any respect for john and the millions like him who sacrificed everything to follow the rules, he would resign. but he want. -- but he won't because he does not respect john. he does not respect the sacrifice of the british public. he is a man without shame. looking past to the member from litchfield and the knotty dog in
the cabinet there are members on the bench opposite who respected john robinson, the british public. they know the damage the prime minister is doing. they new thing -- no things cannot go on as they are. they know -- they know things cannot go on as they are. they know it is time to bring an end to this shameful chapter. do not follow in the slipstream of an out-of-control prime minister. put your country first. put john robinson first, and remove the prime minister from office. , bring decency honesty, and integrity back into our politics, and stop the denigration of everything this country stands for. i once again, -- put your
conscience first, put john robinson first and remove the prime minister from office. bring decency, honesty and integrity back into our politics. prime minister johnson: i apologize once again profusely to john robinson who lost love ones and particularly during the pandemic. i am not trying to explain why to reform a better personal attacks on me, i understand why he does that. i think it would've been a good
thing the impact of -- to address that, and get on with our jobs as a speaker. when he talks about morning dogs a nodding dog sat i think the best thing we can do now for this country as politicians is not to indulge it in the personal attacks of the kind we have heard as get -- and get on. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
having heard the remarks spoken both by my quite honorable friend and the opposition, may i put it to the house that my right honorable friend appreciates that it is crystal clear that such as in his un-case is a fine he paid within 38 days and eliminates future prosecution and for the morrow without any admission of guilt. in a recent criminal appeal case, and in that judgment, it was said that if the payment was made within those 28 days, the effective penalty notice was held not to be a conviction as the defendant " was not admitting an offense or criminality." that is the perspective.
that is the case. >> mr. speaker, i want to make it absolutely clear, that in no way minimize the importance of this find. i am heartily sorry for my mistake, and i accept completely the decision of the police. >> thank you, mr. speaker. let us remind ourselves from the 8 of december last year, the prime minister denies parties happened that 10 downing street. they are the very same parties they police have now fined the prime minister for attending. by now people know that the rules of this house prevent me from saying that the prime
minister deliberately misled this house. that matters little because the public have already -- you have polling showing 75% of the british public and 82% of people in scotland have made their minds up on the prime minister. the public knows the difference between the truth and lying, and they know that the prime minister is only apologizing for one reason and one reason only . it is the only reason he ever apologizes -- because he has been caught. after months of denials, his excuses have finally run out of road and so must his time in office. the prime minister has broken the very laws he wrote. to try and argue that he did not know he had broken his own laws would be laughable, if it was
not so serious. prime minister, you cannot hide behind advisors. he knows, we know that the dogs in the street no, but the -- know that the prime minister has broken the law. this is the first prime minister to have been found to break the law in office. a lawbreaking prime minister! a prime minister who has broken the law and remains under investigation over lawbreaking. not just a lawbreaker -- he would not just apologize, he would resign. mr. speaker, the scale and seriousness of the issues we are facing demand effective leadership from a permit is to who can be trusted.
the war crimes being inflicted on the ukrainian people need our focus. in a time of crisis, the least the public deserves is a prime minister they can trust to tell the truth. for this prime minister, that trust is broken and it can never be fixed. the truth is, the people who trusted these islands, will never trust another word he says ever again. the questions today are not so much for a prime minister desperately clinging to power. the question is for tories. will they finally grow a spine? or is the tori strategy to continue standing behind the prime minister that the public cannot trust with the truth? ajority of the people who -- the real
pleasure is diverse -- we need a prime minister who the public contrast the truth. prime minister johnson: i apologize profusely for my mistake and what i have done wrong. i repeat that. she writes whether this government is capable of providing effective leadership during the current crisis, instead of sending me out to russia. it is still a policy -- it is with >> t many of my constituents --
the warren ukraine is at a very perilous stage and -- war in ukraine is at a very perilous stage, and it is important we do not allow putin to gain control in the donbass. we are stepping up military hardware. this will be an artillery conflict. they need support with more artillery. that is what we will be giving them, mr. speaker. >> the prime minister is anxious to move on to other issues. can he do that? i will take one example -- can
he perhaps explained to me, to the house, and to the country, how he can credibly justify on the one hand calling for the resignation of the pno when he faced allegations that he broke the law while on the other hand refusing to resign when he himself is guilty of actually breaking the laws he set? >> i think her very much. what the pno did is entirely wrong. i think, by the way, i made a serious mistake, and i apologize for it most sincerely. >> government's actions in standing up to putin's aggression and helping ukraine defend itself. it is exactly at times like this
that our country needs a prime minister who exemplifies those values. i regret to say that we have a prime minister who broke the laws he told the country they had to follow, has not been straightforward about it, and is now going to ask the decent men and women on these benches to defend what i think is indefensible -- i am very sorry to have to say this, but i no longer think he is worthy of the great office that he holds. [applause] >> i must say to my right honorable friend, i know the care and sincerity with which he weighs his words and i deeply regret what has happened. i deeply regret the events in downing street,, as i have said but i believe it is the job of
this government to get on with the priorities of the british people, and that is what we are going to do. >> a poll over the weekend asked 2000 people what they thought of the prime minister. the most common word they used, by far, was " liar." does the prime minister understand how profoundly damaging it is to our great country to have a government led by a man the public no longer trusts and no longer has confidence in? mr. speaker, if the prime minister will not resign, will he at least give conservative mp's on thursday a free vote so conservative mp's can decide for themselves whether the prime minister deliberately misled parliament or he was so incompetent that he did not even understand his own laws? >> mr. speaker, i repeat what i have said earlier.
i disagree profoundly with what he has just said, but i repeat my apology to the country. >> c-span has live coverage of russia's invasion of ukraine, bringing -- we also have international perspectives from the united nations all on the c-span networks, the c-span now free mobile app, and c-span.org/ukraine, our web research page where you can watch the latest videos on-demand and follow tweets from journalists on the ground. visit c-span.org/ukraine. >> now available to c-span shop, c-span's 2022 congressional directory. go there today to order a copy of the congressional directory. this spiral-bound book is your guide to congress, including
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