Apr 28, 2021
Boris Johnson Questioned on Apartment Renovations by Labour Leader Keir Starmer PMQs Transcript
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced PMQs after a formal investigation was launched into his residence renovation spending on April 28, 2021. Read the transcript of his speech remarks here.
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Lindsay Hoyle: (00:00)
… question. And then I will call Andrea Jenkyns to [inaudible 00:00:04] Prime Minister.
Boris Johnson: (00:07)
Mr Speaker, I know the thoughts of members across the House are with the people of India. We’re supporting India with vital medical equipment, and we will continue to work closely with the Indian authorities to determine what further help they may need. Mr. Speaker, I also welcome last week’s court of appeal decision to overturn the convictions of 39 former sub-postmasters in the Horizon dispute, an appalling injustice. Sir Wyn Williams is meeting an ongoing independent inquiry that will report this summer. Mr. Speaker, this morning, I had meetings with Minister Cummings and others. In addition to my duties in this House, I shall have further such meetings later today.
Lindsay Hoyle: (00:50)
Let’s go to Andrea Jenkyns. Andrea. You’re on mute, I think, Andrea. [crosstalk 00:01:12] Have you got the answer? [crosstalk 00:01:12] Tell us more about PMQs, I’m assured the Prime Minister knows the answer. Prime Minister. [crosstalk 00:01:23] He can’t do it. What am I going to do, we’re going to try and come back. I’m going to go to leader of the opposition case.
Keir Starmer: (01:30)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, can I join the Prime Minister and his remarks about the humanitarian disaster we’re witnessing in India? I know the UK has already committed some support, but given the scale and the gravity of the disaster, I hope the Foreign Secretary will set out today what more the UK will do to help the Indian people in their hour of need.
Keir Starmer: (01:49)
And I also join the Prime Minister in his remarks about the post office case, an ongoing injustice. And of course, today is International Workers Memorial Day. And this day, this year, after all the sacrifices our frontline workers made during the pandemic, it’s even more poignant than usual. I join in solidarity with all those morning loved ones today.
Keir Starmer: (02:12)
Mr. Speaker it was reported this week, including in the Daily Mail, the BBC, and ITV, backed up by numerous sources that at the end of October the Prime Minister said he would rather have, and I quote, “bodies pile high than implement another lockdown.” Can the Prime Minister tell the House categorically, yes or no, did he make those remarks or remarks to that effect?
Lindsay Hoyle: (02:45)
Boris Johnson: (02:45)
No. Mr. Speaker. And I think the right honorable gentleman is a lawyer I’m given to understand. I think that if he’s going to repeat allegations like that, he should come to this House and substantiate those allegations and say where he heard them and who exactly is supposed to have said those? Who exactly is supposed to have said those things, Mr. Speaker? Because what I suddenly can tell him, and he asked about the October decisions, they were very bitter, very difficult decisions, as they would be for any Prime Minister, Mr. Speaker.
Boris Johnson: (03:21)
Because, no one wants to put this country into a lockdown with all the consequences that means. The loss of education, for the damage to people’s life chances, to the huge medical backlog that it entails. But it was thanks to that lockdown, the tough decision that we took, Mr. Speaker, thanks to the heroic efforts of the British people that we have got through to this stage in the pandemic where we find ourselves rolling out a vaccine where we’ve done 50% of the population, 25% of the adult population have now had two doses, Mr. Speaker. Lockdowns are miserable, lock downs are appalling things to have to do, but I have to say that I believe that we had absolutely no choice.
Lindsay Hoyle: (04:05)
Keir Starmer: (04:06)
Well, somebody here isn’t telling the truth. The House will have heard the Prime Minister’s answer, and I remind him that Minister Coats says, and I quote, “Ministers who knowingly mislead parliament will be expected to offer their resignation.” I’ll leave it there, for now.
Keir Starmer: (04:24)
Turning to another issue. [crosstalk 00:04:28] There will be further on this. There will be further on this, believe you me. Who initially, and Prime Minister, initially is the key word here… Who initially paid for the redecoration of his Downing Street flat?
Lindsay Hoyle: (04:42)
Boris Johnson: (04:44)
Mr. Speaker, when it comes to misleading Parliament, you may recollect that it was only a few weeks ago that he said that he didn’t oppose this country leaving the European Medicines Agency. A fact that he was then forced to retract to, leaving the European Medicines Agency was absolutely invaluable for our vaccine rollout. Actually, it was just last week that he said that James Dyson was a personal friend of mine. A fact that James Dyson has corrected in the newspaper this morning.
Boris Johnson: (05:16)
As far as the latest stuff that he’s bringing up, he should know that I paid for Downing Street’s refurbishment personally, Mr. Speaker. And I can trust that any further declaration that I have to make, if any, I will be advised upon by Lord [inaudible 00:05:38] But he talks about housing costs, Mr. Speaker, then the people of this country can make their own decision in just eight days time. Because on average, Labour councils charge you 93 pounds more in [inaudible 00:05:49] the conservative councils. And Liberal Democrat councils charge you 120 pounds more. That, I think, is the issue upon which the British people would like him to focus.
Lindsay Hoyle: (05:58)
Keir Starmer: (06:01)
Mr. Speaker, normally when people don’t want to incriminate themselves, they go, “No comment.” Let me ask this, let’s explore this a bit further, Prime Minister. Let’s ask it a different way. Either, this is the initial invoice premise, the initial invoice. Either the taxpayer paid the initial invoice, or it was the Conservative Party, or it was a private donor, or it was the Prime Minister. So I’m making it easy for the Prime Minister. It’s now multiple choice. There are only four options. It should be easier than finding the chatty rat, Mr. Speaker. So I asked the Prime Minister again, who paid the initial invoice, Prime Minister, for the redecoration of the Prime Minister’s flat? The initial invoice.
Lindsay Hoyle: (06:42)
Boris Johnson: (06:47)
Mr. Speaker, I’ve given him the answer, and the answer is I have covered the costs, and most people will find it absolutely bizarre. And of course, there’s an Electoral Commission investigating this. And I tell him that I conformed in full with the code of conduct, with ministerial code, and officials have been advising me throughout this whole thing. But I think people will think it absolutely bizarre that he is focusing on this issue. When, what people want to know is what plans the Labour government might have to improve the life of people in this country.
Boris Johnson: (07:24)
And let me tell you, if he talks about housing again, we’re helping people [inaudible 00:07:28] I’d rather not spend taxpayer’s money, by the way, like the last Labour government who spent 500,000 pounds of taxpayers money on the Downing Street flat. [crosstalk 00:07:39] Yes, they did. [inaudible 00:07:43] I would much rather help people get on the property ladder and it’s this Conservative government that has built 244,000 homes in the last year, which is a record over 30 years. This is a government that gets on with delivering on the people’s priorities while he continues to raise these, I think, issues that most people would find irrelevant to their concerns.
Lindsay Hoyle: (08:06)
Keir Starmer: (08:07)
Mr. Speaker, he talks of priorities. What’s he spending his time doing? This is a Prime Minister who during the pandemic was nipping out of meetings to choose wallpaper, of 840 pounds a roll. Just last week, he spent his time phoning journalists to moan about his old friend, Dominic Cummings. And he’s telling the civil service to find out who paid for the redecoration of his flat. The Cabinet Secretary has been asked to investigate who paid for the refurbishments in the flat. Why doesn’t the Prime Minister just tell him? That will be the end of the investigation.
Keir Starmer: (08:42)
Mr. Speaker, it’s been widely reported that Lord Brownlow, who just happens to be given a parish by the Conservative Party, was asked to donate 58,000 pounds to help repay for the cost of this refurbishment. Can the Prime Minister, if he’s so keen to answer, confirm did Lord Brownlow make that payment for that purpose?
Lindsay Hoyle: (09:04)
Boris Johnson: (09:05)
Mr. Speaker, I think I’ve answered this question several times now. The answer is that I have covered the costs. I have met the requirements that I’ve been advised to meet in full, and when it comes to the taxpayer and the costs of Number 10 Downing Street, it was the previous Labour, I think Tony Blair racked up a bill of 350,000 pounds. I think what the people of this country want to see is there is minimizing taxpayer expense, they want to see a government that’s focused on their needs and delivering more homes for the people of this country and cutting council tax. Which is what we’re doing. It’s on that basis that I think people are going to judge our parties on May the 6th.
Lindsay Hoyle: (09:50)
Keir Starmer: (09:51)
Answer the question. That’s what the public scream at their televisions. Every PM, he’s answered the question. The Prime Minister hasn’t answered the question. He knows he hasn’t answered the question. He never answers the question. The Prime-
Keir Starmer: (10:02)
… answered the question. He never answers the question. The Prime Minister will be aware that he is required to declare any benefits that relate to his political activities, including loans or credit arrangements, within 28 days. 28 days, Prime Minister, yes.
Keir Starmer: (10:16)
He will also note that every donation must be recorded in the register of the Minister’s interests and that under the law any donation of over 500 pounds to a political party must be registered and declared. So the rules are very clear. The Electoral Commission now think that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that an offense or offenses may have occurred. That’s incredibly serious. Can the Prime Minister tell the house, does he believe that any rules or laws have been broken in relation to the refurbishment of the Prime Minister’s flat?
Speaker 1: (10:54)
Boris Johnson: (10:55)
No, I don’t, Mr. Speaker. What I I believe has been strained to the breaking point is the credulity of the public. He has half an hour every week to put serious and sensible questions to me about the state of the pandemic, about the vaccine rollout, about what we’re doing to support RNHS, about what we’re doing to fight crime, about what we’re doing to bounce back from this pandemic, about the economic recovery, about jobs for the people of this country, and he goes on and on, Mr. Speaker, about wallpaper when, as I told him umpteen times now, I paid for it. [crosstalk 00:11:29]
Speaker 1: (11:29)
Keir Starmer: (11:30)
Mr. Speaker, can I remind the Prime Minister of the Nolan Principles, which are meant to govern the behavior of those in public office? They are these selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, and leadership. Instead what do we get from this Prime Minister of this conservative government? Dodgy contracts, jobs for their mates, and cash for access. And who is at the heart of it? The Prime Minister, major sleaze sitting there, Mister Speaker. Meanwhile he talks about priorities. Crime is going up, NHS waiting lists are at record levels, and millions of people are worried about their jobs, including [inaudible 00:12:19]. Mr. Speaker, don’t the British people deserve a prime minister they can trust and a government that isn’t mired in sleaze, cronyism, and scandal? [crosstalk 00:12:31].
Boris Johnson: (12:30)
Mr. Speaker, last week he came to this chamber and he attacked me for talking to James Dyson about ventilators. Well, we’re now sending ventilators to help the people of India and the following day, Mr. Speaker, the Labor Front Bench said that any prime minister in my position would have done exactly the same thing. It wasn’t only a few months ago that they were actually attacking Kate Bingham, saying she was a crony when she helped to set up the vaccine task force that delivered millions of vaccines for the people of this country because they were helping us to get out of the pandemic.
Boris Johnson: (13:00)
This is a government that is getting on with delivering on the people’s priorities. We’re rolling out many more nurses, 10,000 more nurses in the NHS now than they were this time last year. 8,771 more police officers on our streets now than there were when I was elected, including tougher sentences, Mr. Speaker, for serious sexual and violent criminals which he opposed Mr. Speaker. We’re getting on.
Boris Johnson: (13:22)
And by the way, I forgot to mention it, last night, our friends in the European Union voted to approve our Brexit deal, which he opposed, which enables us not just to take back control of our borders, Mr. Speaker, which it does, which he fervently opposed, enabling us, amongst other things, to deal with such threats as the European [inaudible 00:13:45], Mr. Speaker, but it enables us to deliver freeports in places like [inaudible 00:13:51], and above all taking back control of our country has allowed us to deliver the fastest vaccine rollout in Europe, as he well knows, Mr. Speaker, which would not have been possible if we’d stayed in the European Medicines Agency, which he voted for. Mr. Speaker, week after week the people in this country can see the difference with the Labor Party the twists and turns with the wind, that thinks of nothing except playing political games whereas this party gets on with delivering on the people’s priorities and I hope that people will vote Conservative on May the sixth.
Speaker 1: (14:29)
[crosstalk 00:14:29] Joan Morrissey.
Joan Morrissey: (14:31)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The UK is indeed a world leader in COVID-19 vaccination. May I thank the Prime Minister for the swift action he has taken to deliver this for our country and will the Prime Minister join me in thanking the many local volunteers, such as Kirsty Griffith, who has been volunteering at the Marlo Vaccine Center and Guy Hollis and Paul Bass, who have been volunteering alongside the Denim Community Health. And thank you for the vaccine roll outs in South [inaudible 00:15:01].
Speaker 1: (15:02)
Boris Johnson: (15:03)
Well, my friends should thank everybody involved and it’s been a fantastic national effort led by the NHS, overwhelmingly by GPs but also by many others, by local counsel officers, officials, by the army by many others and of course, huge numbers of volunteers in her constituency and elsewhere. I think Kirsty Griffith had Guy Hollis and Paul Bass very much for everything they’ve done.
Speaker 1: (15:30)
Let’s go to the leader of the SMP, Ian Blackford. Ian?
Ian Blackford: (15:35)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker and can I associate myself with remarks of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition over the humanitarian crisis in India and the injustice over the horizon issue at the post office? Mr. Speaker, over 127,000 people have died from COVID in United Kingdom. People have lost their mothers and fathers, their grandparents, and even their children. NHS staff have given their all fighting to keep people alive. That’s why so many people find the Prime Minister’s remark that he would rather let the bodies pile high and their phones than go into lockdown utterly, utterly sicking. At the BBC and ITV have multiple sources confirming that this is what the Prime Minister said. People are willing to go under oath, Mr. Speaker, confirming that the Prime Minister said these exact words under oath Mr. Speaker. Now, parliamentary rule stop me from saying that the Prime Minister has repeatedly lied to the public over the last week, but can I ask the question? Are you a liar Prime Minister?
Speaker 1: (16:45)
Boris Johnson: (16:47)
Mr. Speaker, I leave it to you to judge whether the honorable gentleman’s remarks were in order, but what I will say to him is that-
Speaker 1: (16:55)
Sir, they were in order, but were savory and not what we would expect. [crosstalk 00:17:02]
Boris Johnson: (17:02)
I’m grateful to you, Mr. Speaker, but what I would say to the right honorable gentlemen is if he is going to relay that kind of quotation it is up to him in a place like Parliament to produce the author, the person who claims to have heard it because I can’t find them. He says that they’re willing to go on oath. Perhaps they’re sitting somewhere in this building, I rather doubt it because I didn’t say those words.
Boris Johnson: (17:28)
What I do believe is that a lock down is a miserable, miserable thing and I did everything I could to try to protect the British public throughout the pandemic to protect them from lock downs, but also to protect them from disease. And he’s right to draw attention to the wretched toll that COVID has brought. And we grieve, and I know the whole House grieves for every family that has lost a loved one. It has been a horrendous time. But it is thanks to that lockdown and the vaccine rollout, combined with the vaccine rollout, that we’re making the progress we are. And I may say, we’re making progress across the whole of the United Kingdom.
Speaker 1: (18:05)
Let’s go back to Ian Blackford. Ian?
Ian Blackford: (18:08)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and of course it’s the Prime Minister’s behavior which is not in order. This is a Prime Minister who is up to his neck and a swamp of tawdry sleaze. We’ve seen contracts with cronies, text for tax breaks, and cash for [inaudible 00:18:21]. The Prime Minister has dodged these questions all week and he’s dodged them again today, but these questions simply are not going to go away. So when exactly was money funneled to Tony H. Cuban to his personal bank account? When did he pay back this money? Was it an interest free loan and who is the donor or donors who originally funded it? Is the Prime Minister aware that if he continues to fail to answer these questions that the Electoral Commission has the powers to prosecute him? Will the Prime Minister publish these details today or is he going to wait until the police come knocking at his door?
Boris Johnson: (19:00)
Mr. Speaker, as I’ve said, I look forward to what the Electoral Commission has to say, but I can tell him that for the rest of it he’s talking complete nonsense. And the only thing I will say is that it is thanks to our investments in policing that we are going to have another 20,000 more officers on the streets of our country. And that is a fantastic thing. And we will be making sure that that gets through to Scotland as well. What we want to see is a Scottish Nationalist Government stop obsessing about breaking up our country, which is all they can think about and talk about and talk about tackling crime and using that investment to fight crime, which is, I think, what the people of Scotland want to see.
Speaker 1: (19:46)
Gary Sambrook: (19:47)
Thank you Mr. Speaker. If the Prime Minister was to walk down Bristol Road South in Longbridge today he would say a small army of JCB diggers leveling at the old MG Rover Westward site to provide one of the biggest leveling up projects locally with 5,000 extra jobs and industrial site.
Gary Sambrook: (20:03)
… projects locally with 5000 extra jobs in an industrial site, but what people want to see too is the regeneration of Northfield High Street, with a proper plan and money on the table. And so, does the Prime Minister agree with me that we need people like Andy Streets, driven and energetic mayors, delivering for the West Midlands, working with me and local conservative councilors to deliver on this plan, because after all Mr Speaker, team work makes the dream work.
Boris Johnson: (20:25)
Yeah. Mr Speaker, I am lost in admiration for what Andy Street is doing. He’s a fantastic mayor of the West Midlands, and he’s got a fantastic vision for transport, for jobs, growth and recovery, and I hope that everybody votes for Andy Street on May the 6th.
Lindsay Hoyle: (20:43)
Right, let’s just go to Liz Saville-Roberts. Liz?
Liz Saville-Roberts: (20:50)
[Welsh 00:20:50] I think it’s worth repeating the ministerial code’s seven guiding principles. Selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. The Prime Minister has spent the week ticking them off on his ‘don’t do’ list. At the same time he tries to play down allegations of saying, “Let the bodies pile high.” Given that the sole judge on questions relating to the conduct of ministers, and the conduct of the Prime Minister, is the Prime Minister himself, what happens when a Prime Minister goes rogue?
Boris Johnson: (21:32)
Mr Speaker, the people of this country have the chance to make their own minds up on May the 6th, and when they look at what’s happening in Wales, Mr Speaker, they have a chance to make a choice between, I’m afraid a continually failing Welsh Labour government, or a Welsh Conservative administration in Cardiff, that I believe has done fantastically. 65,000 high skilled, high paid jobs, finally addressing the problems of the A55, getting 5000 more teachers, 3000 more nurses into the Welsh NHS, solving the problems of the M4, which I’ve spoken about so movingly many times in this chamber before, Mr Speaker. I hope the people will avoid voting for Plaid Cymru, and that they will vote for Welsh Conservatives on May the 6th in Wales.
Lindsay Hoyle: (22:24)
Duncan Baker: (22:27)
Mr Speaker, as probably the only former sub postmaster in parliament, last Friday’s ruling was the beginning, not the end. Yes, it will cost a lot of money and yes, it will take time, and there is more compensation that is needed, but does the Prime Minister agree with me that only a proper judge led public inquiry can really bring justice to those victims of this horrendous accounting scandal, and also hold to account those involved behind the scenes?
Boris Johnson: (23:00)
I’m grateful to my honorable friend for his expertise in this matter, and thank him for what he has just said, because he is totally right. I think that what happened to those post office workers, the postmasters and sub postmasters was appalling. It was one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in our history, Mr Speaker, and we are looking, indeed, at the issues involved. And the former high court judge, Sir Wyn Williams, will be making recommendations about what further actions, what further apologies we need to make.
Lindsay Hoyle: (23:31)
Let’s go to Hywel Williams. Hywel?
Ian Blackford: (23:34)
Thank you, Mr Speaker, the PM just raised the matter of the Welsh general election. Well, in March last year, this United Kingdom Conservative government intercepted a deal between Wales and the Roche pharmaceutical company for 5000 daily COVID tests, instructing the company to reserve all additional COVID tests to England. Those tests would have been crucial to saving thousands of lives in Wales. So, as we go to the polls next week, will the Prime Minister tell us why Welsh lives meant so little to him?
Boris Johnson: (24:13)
Mr Speaker, I’m afraid the honorable gentleman is completely wrong in what he says about tests, but I can tell him that he’s right about one thing, which is that Wales has made an amazing contribution to our national, our UK fight back against COVID. And it was incredible to again to go to the Wockhardt factory in Wrexham, to go to that site, and it’s Wockhardt working together with Oxford Biomedica that has enabled us to roll out the Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine, Mr Speaker, that has made such a difference, and I want to say a massive thank you, again, to those Welsh scientists, all those people working in that factory, because they have helped to save countless lives across the UK.
Lindsay Hoyle: (24:52)
Laura Farris: (24:54)
Thank you, Mr Speaker. The integrated review confirms the vital role the atomic weapons establishment in Berkshire will play in our future nuclear capability. I want to pay tribute to them, and particularly to the senior female employees who have one a slew of national awards for their work in defense science, engineering, and nuclear security. Given the government’s significant investment in all these sectors, would my right honorable friend say how he plans to improve women’s participation in these fields, where they’ve been historically under represented, could I invite him to the AWE to illustrate our success?
Boris Johnson: (25:31)
I would be honored to take up her invitation as soon as I can. In terms of female representation in that sector, she of course knows that Alison Atkinson became the chief executive officer and managing director of AWE in May 2020, and there are huge numbers of opportunities for women to join our armed services, thanks, Mr Speaker, above all to the biggest uplift in defense spending since the end of the Cold War.
Lindsay Hoyle: (25:59)
Let’s go to Sarah Olney.
Sarah Olney: (26:01)
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment last week to include aviation and shipping into our target emissions. But surely the Prime Minister knows that we will miss this target if we proceed with a third runway at Heathrow, and furthermore that that would undermine the progress that this government hopes to make towards net zero. So, will the Prime Minister take this opportunity to commit to amending the airport’s national policy statement in light of these commitments?
Boris Johnson: (26:34)
Mr Speaker, the third runway at Heathrow is, as she knows, a private sector venture. It’s up to them to produce the capital to do it. I don’t see any immediate sign of that particular project coming off. I think what we should be looking at instead, and what we are looking at is the prospect of jet zero aviation, Mr Speaker, of flying without carbon emissions, or with far lower carbon emissions, and it is in that area that the department of the BAEs and DFT are working together with the manufacturers, so that this country leads in guilt free flying.
Stephen Crabb: (27:10)
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Right now, in every part of the country, levels of business optimism are higher than they have been since the start of the pandemic, with many firms planning to hire more staff and create more apprenticeships for our young people. And there’s one factor more than anything else that underpins that optimism, and that is the success of the UK vaccination program. So, does my right honorable friend agree with me that there’s never been a more important moment for voters in Scotland and in Wales to reject the negativity and the divisiveness of the nationalist, and instead look forward to a brighter and stronger future as one United Kingdom?
Boris Johnson: (27:52)
Absolutely. I don’t know why the shadow leader’s PPS is shaking her head, because surely she would agree with that? We want to work together across the whole of the UK, and I paid tribute to, as I have just said, to the incredible work of the Wockhardt factory in Wales, but there’s also the Valneva factory in Scotland, and the whole of the United Kingdom coming together, represented by our armed services, and above all by our NHS, helping to deliver that vaccine rollout to protect the country and take it forward.
Lindsay Hoyle: (28:23)
Let’s go to Janet Daby. Janet?
Janet Daby: (28:27)
Thank you Mr Speaker. It is absolutely shocking that we have heard the electoral commission is investigating funding of the Prime Minister’s Downing Street flat, saying there are reasonable grounds to suspect an offense. Why does the Prime Minister think all of these stories about sleaze, corruption and dishonesty keep happening to him and his Conservative government?
Lindsay Hoyle: (28:50)
Boris Johnson: (28:51)
I tell you what, Mr Speaker, I think it is because people are absolutely determined to find anything they can hang on to to talk about except the vaccine rollout, except our plans to unite and level up across the country, except our plans to fight crime and give people the opportunity to buy their own homes, because they don’t want to discuss those issues because they can’t win on those issues, Mr Speaker, because they’ve got absolutely nothing to say, and that’s what’s become clear over the last year.
Lindsay Hoyle: (29:18)
Let’s go to Nick Fletcher. Nick.
Nick Fletcher: (29:22)
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Before I ask my question, may I first ask the Prime Minister to join me in thanking all the staff at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and the emergency services for dealing swiftly with a major water leak yesterday. Fortunately, no one was hurt and all patients have been moved safely to other wards. However, back to my original question. The local elections are only days away. I would therefore like to ask the Prime Minister if he would offer his full support to Doncaster Conservative mayoral candidate, James Heart. James, like me, is a local businessman and will shout up for our town and work closely with me on delivering the government’s leveling up agenda.
Lindsay Hoyle: (30:00)
Boris Johnson: (30:01)
Speaker 2: (30:01)
Speaker 3: (30:02)
Boris Johnson: (30:05)
My honorable friend is absolutely right. First of all, hang on, he is right, Mr. Speaker, to want to thank all the staff of Doncaster Royal Infirmary for what they did for the emergency services in dealing with the incident last night, and I’m glad to take that opportunity. But I’m also glad to take opportunity to support him in his campaign for James Hart, and I do hope that the people of Doncaster will go out to vote and support him on May the sixth.
Speaker 3: (30:32)
Let’s go to Christian Matheson.
Speaker, the Prime Minister promised in a series of texts to fix a tax issue for his mate, Sir James Dyson. At that dispatch box last week, he promised to publish those texts, and of course he’s not made good on that promise. So when will he publish them?
Boris Johnson: (30:48)
Mr. Speaker, I promised to publish the account in my dealings with James Dyson, which is exactly what I have done. And I can’t believe they don’t learn their lesson, Mr. Speaker. They attacked the government for having any kind of discussions with a British ventilator maker last week or potential ventilator maker last week. And then the following day, they did a U-turn and said that any prime minister would do it, but they’ve now done another. A double U-turn Mr. Speaker, and they’re trying to bash me again. Which is it? Do you believe the government should be supporting British manufacturing delivering ventilators, yes or no? That’s the question for Labor.
Speaker 3: (31:26)
Let’s go to Dr. Luke Evans. Luke.
Luke Evans: (31:29)
Mr. Speaker, my constituency is best known for The Battle of Bosworth but we also have many other attractions like Twycross Zoo, Mallory Racecourse, Burbage Common and Thornton Reservoir. These attractions all support superb cafes and pubs, with the bank holiday weekend coming up does the prime minister to have any plans? Does he want to pop up to Bosworth? But more importantly, what is the government doing to support these attractions and domestic tourism, as we go into the summer.
Boris Johnson: (32:00)
I want to thank my honorable friend. I want to tell him that no matter how many pints I joined him in lifting in the pubs of Bosworth, but it could not do as much for the economy of Bosworth as what we’re already doing with the 56 million pound welcome back fund. Probably even more welcome than my presence in Bosworth, I venture to suggest that. Hotly contested, perhaps. And we’ve extended the cut in VAT, tourism and hospitality to 5%, right the way through until the end of September.
Speaker 3: (32:34)
To Lillian Greenwood.
Lilian Greenwood: (32:37)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Isn’t the truth behind all of this, the sleaze, the scandals, the jobs for your mates, the cash for [inaudible 00:32:46], that the prime minister thinks that rules, laws and decency, are for other people. The sort of people who shop at John Lewis, or Ikea, or Argos, who don’t have wealthy donors to fund lifestyle, not for people like him and his ministers.
Boris Johnson: (33:04)
Mr. Speaker, I think what people think is the labor party is losing all the arguments across British politics. They got nothing to say. They’ve got no plan for our future, no vision for our country. They see a conservative government that is getting on with uniting and leveling up with the most ambitious agenda any government has had for generations. And I think that’s what they’re listening to.
Speaker 3: (33:26)
Let’s go to Ben Bradley, Ben.
Ben Bradley: (33:30)
I mean, in the next week residents here in Nottinghamshire will go out to vote for the first time since [inaudible 00:33:36] 2019 election. Where they elected [inaudible 00:33:39] Liberal MP across every constituency in this county. Despite that success, many areas, like Mansfield, where much of the new wall across the Midlands and the north, will still have mainly labor parties at a local level. There’s no right on both ends of the message from the voters who have the opportunity next week to elect a conservative local team that can work with our MPs to deliver for Nottinghamshire.
Boris Johnson: (33:58)
I want to do it. I want to thank him for all the wonderful work that he does and for his constituency. My message will be, yes, I hope that people of Nottinghamshire will get out and vote Conservative because if we, who share your priorities on crime, on the NHS, on investment in infrastructure, and on leveling up across our country. So I hope you’ll vote Conservative on May the sixth.
Speaker 3: (34:20)
Let us go to Rachel Hopkins.
Rachel Hopkins: (34:24)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. When was the prime minister and his chief of staff first made aware of the plan for a European Super League?
Boris Johnson: (34:35)
I first was made aware of a plan for a European Super League on, I think the Sunday night. And we acted decisively using the arsenal of legislative freedoms that we now have thanks to leaving the European Union, which she opposed. We acted decisively to make clear that the UK took a dim view of this matter, Mr. Speaker, and the same goes for my chief of staff.
Siobhan Baillie: (35:07)
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, my constituency of Stroud recently won the best place to live, and there is much to visit there including a historic lamp standard that was erected to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. And next year, our own Queen will mark her succession to the throne of 70 years. And I would ask the prime minister, will he join me in supporting the gift being proposed by parliament to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee?
Boris Johnson: (35:39)
I want to thank my honorable friend for a wonderful proposal and I would certainly encourage all colleagues to support and to contribute to her project.
Speaker 3: (35:51)
We’re now good to go back to Andrea Jenkyns.
Andrea Jenkyns: (35:56)
Thank you, Mr. Spreaker. Next week we will affect our first Mayor of North Yorkshire. Does the prime minister agree with me that for far too long, Labor have been taking our Northern heartlands for granted. On Thursday the sixth of May we’ll have the opportunity to elect patriotic, hardworking Northerners like Matt Robinson, Ben Hampton, and Jill Mortimer in Harltepool. They will be strong voices and champions for infrastructure and housing and jobs. We must seize this chance to build back after the pandemic and only the Conservatives will deliver on this.
Boris Johnson: (36:30)
Mr. Speaker, they don’t like that sort of thing, do they? They don’t like focusing on the issues that actually matter to the British people and the people of West Yorkshire. I thank my honorable friend. She’s absolutely right. I hope the people, on May the sixth will get out and vote for a party that believes in supporting our NHS, that believes in fighting crime, not being soft on crime. And that will bring jobs and regeneration across the entire country. And I hope that they will vote conservative on May the 6th.
Speaker 3: (37:00)
I’ve now suspended The House for three minutes to enable the necessary arrangements for the next business.