The Speaker
Saturday, 25 May 2024 – 22:24

PMQ recap: Blackford demands Johnson resign over accusations of COVID rule breaches

The alleged party at Downing Street on 18 December 2020 dominated debate during this week’s PMQs.

Boris Johnson opened this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions with an assurance to the public that he shared their anger at the apparent disregard for the COVID rules shown in a clip from the reported party at No. 10. This comes after a video emerged of Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg giving a speech at the aforementioned party.

In the video, Rees-Mogg jovially pronounced:

“I see we’re all here, obeying regulations aren’t we? I mean, this party is not going to be investigated by police in a years time. You are all very carefully socially distanced. … I know that you’re all at least 2 inches apart.”

The alleged party is thought to have occurred at a point in time when Christmas parties were prohibited and social distancing of 2 metres was required. Jacob Rees-Mogg was not present at PMQs.

The Prime Minister promised that the Cabinet Secretary would investigate the events of the 18th of December in order to find what COVID rules, if any, were breached.

Johnson stated:

“If those rules were broken there will be disciplinary action.”

Various MPs continued to press the Prime Minister on the reported party. Keir Starmer regaled the house with the tale of Trisha, a woman whose mother fell ill, and sadly passed away at the same period that the party at No. 10 is thought to have occurred.

Similar stories were brought up by other MPs. Labour MP Dr. Allin-Khan recounted:

“Working in intensive care, I wept behind my mask, as three children, talking to their dying mother on an iPad, begged her to wake up.”

Leader of the Scottish National Party in the House of Commons, Ian Blackford, demanded that the Prime Minister resign over the loss of trust in the government:

“The Prime Minister is responsible for losing the trust of the people … The Prime Minister has a duty. The only right and moral choice left to him. It is his resignation. When can we expect it?”

The Prime Minister accused Labour and the SNP of using the pandemic to play politics while the Conservatives were focusing on rolling out vaccination boosters and levelling up British communities.

Another topic brought up at PMQs was whether the UK would join the US in a political boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. The Prime Minister responded that while there would be no official boycott of the Games, there would be an effective boycott as there were no plans for any British ministerial presence at the games.

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