Peston: Angela Rayner slams ‘ridiculous’ PM over attempts to whip MPs ahead of vote

Partygate: Keir Starmer asks why Boris Johnson hasn't resigned

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Labour’s Deputy Leader spoke to Robert Peston on ITV’s political flagship programme Peston about Mr Johnson’s attempt to whip Tory MPs to block the investigation into his actions. On Wednesday, the Government announced that they tabled a change to Labour’s motion and suggested the vote is completed once the “MPs have all the details”.

A Government spokesperson said: “The Government has tabled an amendment to Labour’s motion which says that consideration of this matter should take place after the conclusion of the police investigation, and the publication of the Cabinet Office report, allowing MPs to have all the facts at their disposal.”

Ms Rayner said: “This is called kicking the can down the road but you’re running out of road I mean it’s pretty clear what the facts were and the Prime Minister all along has tried to in my view not tell the truth and be forthcoming about what happened. 

“I find it absolutely incredible that the Prime Minister first of all said, ‘no parties’ then when he found out there were parties ‘this is outrageous there shouldn’t have been parties’, then when he found out he was at the party ‘I didn’t know it was a party and I was ambushed by cake’ I mean it’s getting pretty ridiculous now.”

Many Tory MP’s, including Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, have criticised the Partygate backlash saying it is overblown and many continuing to deny that there was even a party in the first place, despite the fines being handed out by the police. 

Ms Rayner stated: “[Boris] obviously accepted the fine from the Police, he’s accepted he broke the law and therefore it’s pretty simple to me he has misled Parliament, he has broken the law, he should resign.”

The Prime Minister apologised to the House 89 times on Tuesday but has insisted he will not resign over the issue despite agreeing with the resignations of other colleagues such as Allegra Stratton.

During PMQs Boris Johnson stated: “What I think the country and what I think the whole House would really rather do is get on with the things for which we were elected and deliver on our promises to the British public.”

The MP for Ashton under Lyne recognised the attempts of the Tories to “try their best to move away from [this vote], you know you could see the whipping operation from Conservatives … that we put forward for Thursday but I do think it’s pretty clear now and I think Conservative MPs have to search their conscience now about how long they are going to let this carry on”.

She continued: “You cannot have a Prime Minister break the law that he set down, which were pretty serious laws to keep the country safe and then say that ‘that’s fine I didn’t understand, or I didn’t know that I did it’.

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“That is not acceptable, and it breaches that fundamental trust that we have in politicians and in our parliamentary democracy and process.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer tweeted about the vote on Thursday saying: “Tomorrow is an important step towards restoring honesty and integrity into our politics.

“I am urging all Conservative MPs to do the right thing – to respect the sacrifices their constituents made, and to vote in the national interest.

“Britain deserves better.”

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