‘Cowering’ Boris Johnson has no sleaze apology, no shame and no face mask at hospital
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer slammed the PM for ‘cowering and hiding away’ instead of clearing up his mess and apologising to the public for his handling of the sleaze scandal
Just days after sparking fury by trying to rewrite rules to get a Tory pal off a sleaze charge, Boris Johnson had the opportunity to apologise for the scandal.
But the PM yet again dodged scrutiny as he sent in Cabinet Office Minister Steve Barclay to face a grilling by MPs.
No10 said Mr Johnson was unable to return to from a “long-planned” visit to an NHS hospital trust in Northumberland in time for the debate in the wake of the Owen Paterson lobbying furore.
However, witnesses spotted him on a train that arrived at King’s Cross station in London less than half an hour into the Commons clash, which started at 4.07pm and ended at 7.05pm.
Last week the PM managed to fly back to London from COP26 in Glasgow in time to make a dinner with friends at a private gentlemen’s club.
Boris Johnson pictured waiting for a train from Newcastle to London which could have got him back into Parliament to catch some of the sleaze debate ( Image: @TD_Hancock)
And to further show Mr Johnson’s cavalier attitude to rules, he was pictured without a mask while meeting staff at Hexham General Hospital.
“Last week, he damaged himself, his party and our democracy. He led his party through the sewers and the stench lingers. This week he had the chance to clean up, to apologise and finally accept that the rules apply to him and his friends. Instead of stepping up, he has hidden away. Instead of clearing his mess he has left his side knee deep in it. Instead of leading from the front he has cowered away.
“He is not a serious leader and the joke isn’t funny any more.” Even Mr Johnson’s own MPs turned on him, as his personal poll ratings slumped to their lowest since he took power.
Owen Paterson resigned as an MP before he could be suspended for breaching lobbying rules ( Image: PA)
Former chief whip Mark Harper said: “Politics is a team game. If the team captain gets it wrong he should come and apologise.”
Mr Johnson’s no-show echoes his day trip as Foreign Secretary to Afghanistan to avoid angering constituents in a vote on expanding Heathrow Airport. And during the last general election campaign he hid in a fridge to skip awkward questions.
Speaker Lindsay Hoyle kicked off the debate by warning the PM’s abortive bid to save Mr Paterson had been highly damaging to MPs’ reputations.
The PM walks maskless next to NHS staff who are all wearing face coverings, as he avoided the Commons emergency debate on sleaze ( Image: PA)
Tories had tried to block a 30-day suspension for the MP, who breached lobbying rules, by trying to changes the laws on parliamentary standards. Mr Paterson has since quit.
The SNP has made a formal complaint to the Metropolitan Police over claims Tories awarded peerages to donors who gave millions to the party.
After Mr Johnson’s hospital visit, Northumbria Trust insisted he had stuck to rules on masks.
But Hexham’s guidance states: “Anyone attending our hospitals must continue to wear a face-covering at all times to protect patients, visitors and staff.”https://get-latest.convrse.media/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mirror.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2Fboris-johnson-no-respect-no-25411226&cre=mr-bottom&cip=1&view=web&ignoreMetaDataCheck=true&subType=news_story
The PM last week sat snoozing with no mask next to 95-year-old Sir David Attenborough at COP26.
Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “He’s now irresponsibly parading
News Credi: www.mirror.co.uk