PMQs RECAP: Boris Johnson faces grilling amid rebellion over Covid plans

Boris Johnson faces a grilling from all sides following a rebellion in his own party of Covid measures and alleged breaches of his own measures by government officials.

Boris Johnson will face Parliament following a massive revolt over his coronavirus plans which has left questions over his authority.
Boris Johnson will face Parliament following a massive revolt over his coronavirus plans which has left questions over his authority.

The Prime Minister is under intense pressure after 100 backbenchers defied him on the issue which has come to define his premiership – the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The scale of the rebellion – the biggest suffered by Mr Johnson – came as a surprise to the Tory leadership and followed a personal appeal by the Prime Minister to his MPs at a meeting just an hour before the vote.

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Nearly a third of his MPs voted against the introduction of mandatory Covid passes in nightclubs and large venues.

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PMQs LIVE: Boris Johnson faces grilling amid rebellion over Covid plans

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And with that PMQs comes to an end.

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Fake News klaxon.

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Boris Johnson responds saying that the foreign secretary has told him this claim is “fake news”.

Boris Johnson confirms talks with President Putin saying that he told President Putin on Monday that, if Russia invaded Ukraine, it would face an extremely tough set of sanctions.

If you are just joining us - welcome. There have been some heated exchanges during this PMQs especially over the Plan B Covid restrictions in England.

Sir Keir Starmer told the Commons the UK has the “worst possible Prime Minister at the worst possible time”, adding Boris Johnson is “too weak to lead”.

The Labour leader said: “The British public are looking for a Prime Minister with the trust and the authority to lead Britain through the crisis. Instead we’re burdened with the worst possible Prime Minister at the worst possible time.”

Addressing Tory heckles, he said: “They’re shouting now, where were they in the lobby last night?

“His own MPs have had enough, they won’t defend him, they won’t turn up to support him and, if he proposes them, they won’t vote for basic public health measures.”

Sir Keir added: “The Prime Minister is so weak that without Labour votes last night, vital public health measures wouldn’t have got through.”

Boris Johnson replied to the Labour leader’s criticism over Tuesday night’s Plan B Commons votes, saying: “We won that vote last night with Conservative votes.

“I respect the feelings, the anxieties colleagues have – of course I do – and legitimate anxieties that colleagues have about restrictions on their liberty and the liberty of people.

“But I believe the approach we’re taking is balanced and proportionate and right for this country.”

Boris Johnson continues to claim that Brexit and freedom from EU rules enabled it to have the fastest vaccine rollout in Europe.

Bob Neil asks if the PM will introduce a national stroke strategy to which the PM responds that he will continue to keep tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ian Blackford says “Yesterday the UK Government put out a press release saying new financial support was coming. But last night the Treasury u-turned – saying no new money was available.

“So Prime Minister, which is it? Is there any new money to support businesses or was it all just smoke and mirrors?”

Boris Johnson says there is new money through Barnett consequentials. And the Scottish government can raise more money if it wants to.

Ian Blackford says a Prime Minister who can’t do what is needed to the public is “no Prime Minister is all”

Boris Johnson responds saying Ian Blackford will need a bigger waistcoat to contain his “synethetic indignation”

Despite the votes Boris Johnson says the Covid measure in England was passed with Tory votes. He lists tough decisions he says he has taken: on the ventilator scheme and lockdown.

He then riffs on Labour saying: “They vassilate, we vaccinate, they jabber, we jab.”

Conservative rebels “voted against steps necessary to protect the NHS”, Keir Starmer has suggested.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, the Labour leader said: “Given the seriousness of the situation, does the Prime Minister agree that the 100 Conservative members who voted against Plan B measures last night voted against steps necessary to protect the NHS and to protect lives?”

Following a heckle of “And Jeremy Corbyn!”, Boris Johnson replied: “The Government is taking a balanced and a proportionate approach to dealing with the pandemic and the House voted through Plan B, I think with Conservative votes, and we will continue with the massive booster rollout to which he is a late convert.”

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