‘First recorded case of the sinking ships fleeing the rats’ Boris battered at PMQs but no resignation

Final showdown: Boris Johnson faces PMQs for the last time... or is it?. Image: Stuart Boulton/Shutterstock.com

IT appears to be a day of reckoning for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who faces ministers at the PMQs on Wednesday, July 6 – possibly for the final time.

The Prime Minister Questions (PMQs) have followed a similar pattern in recent months, with Boris Johnson facing calls for his resignation each week since the ‘Partygate’ scandal erupted.

However, ‘Partygate’ must seem like a distant memory with the PM after a string of resignations from top government officials began at 6 pm on Tuesday, July 5 and continued into July 6.

It appears that the catalyst for the slew of resignations, which included high-profile names such as Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, was the revelation that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had known about sexual misconduct allegations against former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher.

Minutes before the start of the PMQs, Tory MP for the seat of Barrow & Furness in Cumbria, Simon Fell, wrote on Twitter: “Enough is enough. We can’t go on like this and we don’t have to. It’s time for fresh leadership.”

Prime Minister Questions

Boris was met by boos as he entered the House of Commons.

“Today is a big day!” he said, met with jeers. He avoided the issue at hand with regards to the string of resignations and said that the UK will be cutting taxes.

Johnson wished UK competitors at the Women’s Euros every success, which was met with cheers.

Sir Keir Starmer brought up the allegations surrounding Chris Pincher.

He said: “He knew the accused minister had previously committed predatory behaviour – but he promoted him to  a position of power anyway – why?”

Johnson said that “he had lost his status as a Conservative MP” and the matter is under investigation.

Starmer continued to press the PM about Mr Pincher.

“Pincher by name, Pincher by nature,” these were the accusations made against the MP.

Mr Johnson said: “It is true that the complaint was raised when he was in the Foreign Office and the matter was resolved.

“It’s absolutely true that it was raised with me – I greatly regret that he continued in office and I’ve said that before.”

He said: “When that young man reported his attack to a government whip, she asked him if he was gay.

“When he said that he was, she replied: ‘That doesn’t make it straightforward’.

Kier Starmer’s interrogation intensified.

He questioned why Boris could ignore “awful behaviour, unacceptable in any walk of life”.

He added: “It was the same when his home secretary was bullying staff, it was the same when tax payers money was being abused, and it was the same when he and his mates parties their way through lockdown.

“Anyone quitting now after defending all that hasn’t got a shred of integrity.

“Isn’t this the first recorded case of the sinking ships fleeing the rats.”

“He talks about integrity, he voted 48 times to overturn the will of the British people and take us back into the European Union,” Mr Johnson said.

Sir Keir said in response: “What a pathetic spectacle.”

“The dying act of his political career is to parrot that nonsense, and as for those who are left only in office because no one else is prepared to debase themselves any longer, the charge of the lightweight brigade.

“Have some self-respect.”

He added: “Anyone with anything about them would be long gone from his front bench.

“In the middle of a crisis, doesn’t the country deserve better than a Z-list cast of nodding dogs?”

Mr Johnson replied: “It’s exactly when times are tough… when the country faces pressures of the economy… that is exactly the moment that you’d expect the government to continue with its work – not to walk away.”

After dodging calls for his resignation once again, Conservative MP for East Worthing and Shoreham Tim Loughton asked the most pressing question: ‘Is there any circumstances in which he should resign?’

After the laughter died down, the PM said: “Clearly, if there were circumstances in which I felt it was impossible for the government to go on and discharge the mandate that we’ve given.

“Or if I felt we were being frustrated in our desire to support the Ukrainian people… then I would.

“But frankly… the job of a prime minister in difficult circumstances when he’s been handed a colossal mandate is to keep going.

“That’s what I’m going to do.”

Conservative MP for Haltemprice and Howden David Davis said that he called the PM prior to the PMQs called on Boris Johnson to resign as he had done previously.

He said: “Six months ago I called on the prime minister to resign because even then it was clear that his approach to leadership and integrity was already creating a pipeline of problems that will paralyse proper government.

“Today I ask him to do the honourable thing, to put the interests of the nation before his own.”

Prior to the PMQs, Boris Johnson’s father Stanley backed the PM and said he was convinced he would not resign.

“There are people playing the man and not the ball.

“I am 100 percent behind him. One hundred percent and I am absolutely convinced that he will carry on.

“Their job as they see it is to get the political points across by attacking the man, playing the man and not the ball.

“I think he will fend them off in the end and I personally will be delighted because I think there is a huge challenge confronting this country to build bridges now with the EU and China and America and Australia and so forth which is a process which is under way.”

He told MailOnline: “Just take his leadership in Ukraine. Without Boris I do not think the EU would have gone as far as it has gone.

“I think we are in tremendous danger now of being blinded by a whole series of minutiae.

“I have supported him over Partygate and I continue to support him.

“As far as I’m concerned, I will support him on all the things that he has set out to do.

“And where he has said there have been misunderstandings, I believe they have been misunderstandings and inadvertently mistakes made.

“Yes, you can expect me to say it is as his father, but I think this storm will pass and we shall see him there and we will be grateful for it in the end.”


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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

Comments


    • Robert Saunders

      06 July 2022 • 13:59

      Your headline makes no sense at all……….’First recorded case of the sinking ships fleeing the rats’ Boris battered at PMQs but no resignation. Don’t you mean ‘Rats fleeing the sinking Ship’.

      Reply
      • Guest Writer

        06 July 2022 • 15:18

        Robert- If you read the article you will see that this was a ‘humorous’ observation made by Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer during Prime Minister’s Questions today in regards to the many ministers resigning their posts.

        Reply

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