PMQs: Johnson resists resignation as Labour calls for full release of Gray inquiry report

Published by Scott Challinor on January 26th 2022, 2:02pm

At Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Boris Johnson told the House of Commons that he is “getting on with the job” of leading the country and will stay in post, despite Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer calling on him to resign.

Sir Keir also urged the PM to publish the full report compiled by senior civil servant Sue Gray, following her investigations into possible Covid rule breaches in Downing Street, which came in the form of a string of parties.

Her final report could be released later today, although the BBC has reported that it is still to be sent to the prime minister at the time of writing.

Sir Keir told the chamber: “The prime minister's continual defence is 'Wait for the Sue Gray report'. On December 8, 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 parts of the report, not a summary of the report, not an edited copy. So, can the prime minister confirm that he will publish the full Sue Gray report as he receives it?”

The PM responded by saying: “We've got to leave the report to the independent investigator, as he knows, of course when I receive it, I will do exactly what I said.”

Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle suggested during the session that once the report was made accessible to MPs, he would be willing to suspend proceedings to enable members to digest its findings prior to the government issuing its responding statement.

Sir Lindsay had to repeatedly request those present to calm down during a hot tempered session, which also saw Sir Keir tell the prime minister that he was damaging the reputation of the UK by remaining in power.

Johnson's prospects of remaining in Number 10 suffered another blow this week after reports of a birthday party held for him in the Cabinet room back in June 2020 surfaced, and the Metropolitan Police announced that it would launch its own investigation into the parties and whether Covid rules were broken.

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s leader in Westminster, called on Johnson’s fellow Tory MPs to submit no confidence letters to the chair of the backbench 1922 Committee and force a party leadership contest in a bid to oust the prime minister.

Some Conservative MPs are believed to be waiting for the outcome of Sue Gray’s findings before deciding whether to call for Johnson’s removal. 54 letters of no confidence must be submitted to committee chair, Sir Graham Brady, to trigger a new leadership contest within the Conservative party. 

Photo taken from Wikimedia Commons

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Scott Challinor
Business Editor
January 26th 2022, 2:02pm

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