tv Prime Ministers Questions Prime Ministers Question Time CSPAN January 24, 2022 12:00am-12:43am EST
mr. johnson said he will not resign. >> before we like to have questions, the british sign languaging interpretation is able to watch on live tv. now comes to prime minister questions. i now call on wendy chamberlain. prime minister question one. >> i will be updating the house on this country's fantastic progress in tackling covid-19, including our booster program, enabling us to ease plan b measures and restore the ancient liberties of this country, mr. speaker. prime minister johnson: i know the whole house will be delighted that her majesty the
queen has given permission for a special medal to be awarded to all those who deploys to kabul. making sure our service men and women deliver the largest evacuation since the second world war. the whole country can be immensely proud of their service. mr. speaker, i had meetings with minute steerial colleagues and others in addition to my duties in this house, i shall have further such meetings later today. >> thank you, mr. speaker. last year we were told by the prime minister there were no downing street parties and then it turns out there were parties but we were assured no rules were broken. we heard the rules may have been broken but he thought it was a work event. and now yesterday from the man who wrote the rules, it was, well, nobody told me what the rules were. five weeks -- the people of northeast were clear to me now, no matter the excuse, there is no excuse for taking the british
people for fools. the prime minister will agree it's now time for him to resign? prime minister johnson: no, mr. speaker. what i can tell her, as i said to the house last week, i apologized sincerely for any misjudgments that were made but she must contain her, mr. speaker, and wait for the inquiry next week before she draws to any of the conclusions she just asserted. can the prime minister assure me and other members of the british party, all party group -- british counsel all party group that the government will meet the british funding requirements
to make sure it doesn't have to close any more offices overseas and be sure it commits all energy to retaining our top spot? prime minister johnson: mr. speaker, i entirely share my right honorable friend's enthusiasm for the british council which is a wonderful institution we all love and that's why we're providing through the scbo 800 million pounds of funding this year. a 27% increase, mr. speaker, in spite of all the difficulties this country is facing, increase on the previous financial year. we also provided >> from the opposition. >> yea! >> thank you, mr. speaker. can i start by warmly welcoming -- can i start -- can i just
say, i expect people to listen to the prime minister. i certainly don't want the leader of the opposition shouted down. you might not like it, but this is the one we've got. can i start by warmly welcoming the honorable member. >> hear! >> for the parliamentary labor party. mr. speaker, like so many people up and down the country, he has concluded that the prime minister has shown themselves incapable of operating the leadership and government this country deserves. whereas the labor party stands ready to provide an alternative government. mr. speaker, the labor party has changed and so has the conservative party. he and anyone else who wants to build a new britain built on decency, security, prosperity
and respect is welcome in my labor party. every week the prime minister offers defenses to the damage street parties and each week it unravels. jeff: if someone wants to do some direction, i'll start directing the vote to the chamber. >> mr. speaker -- [indiscernible] -- booze. [laughter] >> let's try to get on with questions. it's going to be a long day. >> mr. speaker, the video
landed, bloa blowing act vives out of the water. he was furious that people were at the party. then last week he said he didn't realize he was at a party and, surprise, surprise, no one believed him. so this week he's got a new defense. nobody warned me that it was against the rules. [laughter] that's it. since the prime minister read the rules, why on earth did he think this new defense is going to work for him? jeff: thank you, mr. speaker. when he talks about the rules and -- prime minister johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. when he talks about the rules, let me repeat what i said to the honorable lady across the aisle. of course, mr. speaker, we must wait for the -- [indiscernible]
-- but i believe what i said. when it comes to -- [indiscernible] -- >> nobody believes what you said. >> this prime minister, i want same courtesy from both sides. prime minister. jeff: mr. speaker, if we listen to the right honorable gentleman about covid restrictions which is the substance of the question, then, mr. speaker, we would still be in lockdown -- [indiscernible] -- if we listened to it in the runup to christmas, we would have stayed in restrictions with huge damage to the economy. it's because of the judgment that i've taken and he's taken that we now have -- [indiscernible] -- and g.d.p., mr. speaker. that's up above --
[indiscernible] -- let me say to the right gentleman, mr. speaker. the conservative party have won for the first time in generations under this prime minister, an agenda uniting and leveling up and delivering for the people and, mr. speaker, we will win again -- [indiscernible] -- [shouting] >> i want to hear both sides and i don't want these continuous chants because there will be less people on these benches. i expect both sides to be heard with courtesy.
prime minister johnson: didn't somebody want me to apologize? i hope it wasn't aimed at me. >> thank you, mr. speaker. not only did he write the rules but some of his staff say they did warn him about attending the party. now, i've heard the prime minister's very carefully crafted response to accusations. it's almost sounds like a lawyer wrote it. [laughter] i'm being very careful with my questions. when did the prime minister first become aware that any of his staff had concerns about the 20th of may party?
jeff: mr. speakers repeating the question. we have answered -- mr. speaker -- there is the inquiry to come forward with an explanation of what happened and -- he asked my staff and what they were doing and told me. i can tell you, mr. speaker, that they have taken decisions throughout this pandemic, that he has opposed to open up in july, mr. speaker, as i said, the fastest vaccine rollout in europe and, mr. speaker, to double the speed of the booster with the result that we have the most open economy in europe, mr. speaker, and we have more people in employment, more employees on the payroll than they were before the pandemic began. that is what my staff has been working on.
i'm proud of that. >> if the prime minister's defense was true, it requires him to suggest that his staff are not being truthful when they say they warned him about the party. it requires the prime minister to expect to us believe that while every other person who was invited on the 20th of may party was told it was a social occasion, he alone was told it was a work meeting. [laughter] it also requires the prime minister to ask us to accept that -- [indiscernible] -- empty bottles of plastic and sandwiches and didn't realize it was a party. and did the prime minister realize howery dick louis that
sounds? -- how ridiculous that sounds? prime minister johnson: for clarification, lots of people are interested in the exact legal justification, the picture of him drinking -- [indiscernible] -- [shouting] [indiscernible] prime minister johnson: througho ut the pandemic people across government have been working flat-out to protect the british public biggest and most generous of
anywhere in the world and the fastest and by the way, mr. speaker, if we listen to them we would have stayed in the european -- [indiscernible] -- and never been able to have the vaccine rollout >> mr. speaker, if the prime minister thinks only accusation he faces is that he once had a beer with a takeaway, then operation -- [indiscernible] -- is indeed in more trouble than i thought [laughter] if the prime minister misleads parliament, should they resign? prime minister johnson: mr. speaker, to make it clear, the right honorable gentleman is asking a series of questions which he know will be fully addressed by the inquiry he's wasting the people's time, mr. speaker he continues to be completely irrelevant
we have an inquiry, mr. speaker and i'm not going to entertain that inquiry any further what i can tell him is that it is the judgments that were taken in downing street because of the willingness of the british people to put trust, by the way, mr. speaker, in those judgments that comes forward in huge numbers to get vaccinated which people did and i thank them for it from the bottom of my heart people did that it is the result of that that we now have the best economy youth unemployment at a record low >> mr. speaker, last year, last year her majesty the queen
marked the passing of the man she'd been married to for 73 years she followed the rules of the country that she leads on the eve of that funeral, a suitcase was filled with booze and wielded to downing street, a d.j. played and staff partied late into the night the prime minister has been forced to have an apology to her majesty the queen
keep the party wine chilled. while we were setting out plans to keep bills down, he was planning parties. while we were setting out plans to save jobs in the steel industry, he was trying to save just one job, his own. doesn't the country deserve so much better than this? out of touch, out of control, out of ideas and soon to be out of office, prime minister. prime minister johnson: we have been -- [indiscernible] -- we have an increasing payment for people for the cost of fuel. can i just say. our constituents want to hear the questions and the answers. the great british public, the members of this united kingdom,
which you're representing, they need to hear. please. let's hear the questions. prime minister. prime minister johnson: we'll continue to help people throughout this pandemic and beyond. but we've also, mr. speaker, been cutting crime by 10%. record home building. we are building 14 new hospitals -- [indiscernible] -- gone up to 55% already. as i said already, i think three times or four times today we've had more people, more employees on the payroll now than before the pandemic began. and unemployment youth at a record low, mr. speaker. when the history of this pandemic comes and the history of the labor party comes, -- [indiscernible] -- it will show that we delivered while they
dithered and we vaccinated while they -- [indiscernible] -- mr. speaker. and the reason we've been able to lift restrictions faster than any other country in europe and we have the most open economy and the most open society in europe, mr. speaker, is thanks to the booster rollout and thanks to the work of staff up and down white hall, across government. and i am intensely proud of what this government has done. [shouting] >> [indiscernible] -- >> thank you, mr. speaker. following on from the excellent news on the economy and jobs, the prime minister will remember my question to him last year.
last week local councils granted to create 6,000 new scoo skill jobs to secure many thousands of others. inject $2.5 billion pounds into our economy and level up across our region. we have cleaner and greener electric cars. we're asking for his support to ensure the swift delivery of these vitally important projects. prime minister johnson: i thank my honorable friend for campaigning for this these wonderful projects and we are supporting the electric vehicle industry. 350 million pounds available through the oosk transportation fund, on top of the half a billion pounds that we've already made in the 10-point plan. i know that we campaigned for carpentry is an excellent one. i look forward to seeing how it develops. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
this week was supposed to be operation save -- [indiscernible] -- but it's quickly become operation -- [indiscernible] -- for the past few days we've had damaging claims about drowning street. more evidence that parliament has been misled. and an even longer list of ludicrous, absolutely ludicrous excuses from the prime minister. first he claims there are no parties. then he wasn't present. then he admitted he was at them, but he didn't know it was a party. and then, mr. speaker, the excuse is really the most pathetic of them all. nobody told me, nobody told me, nobody told the prime minister he was breaking his own rules. absolutely pathetic.
the prime minister -- [indiscernible] [shouting] [indiscernible] [talking simultaneously] >> nobody believes him. the prime minister finally take responsibility for -- [indiscernible] -- prime minister johnson: no, mr. speaker, but i thank you again. let me just remind him that -- i believe he's wrong in what he has said, mr. speaker, but we'll have to wait and see what the inquiry says. the most important thing is coming out of the restrictions that we've been in. i'm delighted to see that's happening in scotland as well.
that's in part because of the wonderful cooperation we continue to see across the whole of the u.k.. >> if i could, mr. speaker, i'm afraid nobody is buying this anymore. there ought to be some respect and dignity from the prime minister. let's remind ourselves more than 150,000 of our citizens died and he's laughing, mr. speaker, it's simply -- [indiscernible] -- the endless excuse, empty promises that things will be different if we give him one last chance. this is the prime minister that believes that he's above the rules. a prime minister who brazenly twists the truth. a prime minister who simply isn't fit for office. the prime minister's former chief advisor has said that he lied to parliament, breaking the ministerial court. a resignation abeds public
trust. with every party this government loses even more credibility. when will the m.p. finally do the right thing? show the prime minister the door. [shouting] prime minister johnson: mr. speaker, i thank the right honorable gentleman. i must say that i disagree with him and i think that when you look at the levels of trust that the british people in scotland, what's, across the who will -- what's, across the whole -- whales, across the whole country -- wales across the whole country, coming forward voluntarily, mr. speaker, unlike many other chris in the world, to get vaccinated on a scale not seen anywhere else in europe. and that is the good of our ability, the n.h.s.'s ability to persuade theme pats the right thing. it's a fantastic thing. by the way, mr. speaker, it's also a tribute to the united kingdom. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
but it comes to exporting, as you're well aware, punches well above his weight. the prime minister saw this when he visited -- [indiscernible] -- local businesses such as health and technologies, doing a great job flying the flag for lancaster globally. many smaller businesses are eager to get into u.k. markets. what steps are the prime minister taking to help businesses maximize export potential? prime minister johnson: i thank you for championing that and all do you to champion trade with latin america. i have no doubt that -- [indiscernible] -- eager to get into those new markets and we will do everything that we can to help and support him in his efforts. >> thank you, mr. speaker. as the cost of living crisis
deepens, this government's priorities get ever more remote from my constituents. only this week i learned a veteran in my constituency took his own life as a result of his struggle with mounting financial pressures. thanks government that acted unlawfully by the high court on contract and billions allocated to those schemes. why can't the u.k. government find millions of plans for profiteers and fraudsters but they can't find compassion to treat people with dignity, reinstating the cuts universal credit? prime minister johnson: i want to say how sorry i am about james. this government does as much as we can to support veterans. that's why we published the veterans action plan only the other day, mr. speaker. but what we're also doing is ensuring that we support people
-- he mentions and i've said in my answer to the right honorable gentleman, many of the steps that we're taking to protect people. we'll continue to do more, mr. speaker. the contracts, i think it was an astonishing thing, to be able to give this country 17 billion items of p.t. thanks to efforts of people across white hall. mr. speaker, this country's now capable of producing 80% of our own p.p.e.. >> shortly before christmas, my constituent was found at home having been stabbed to death on the eve of his 20th birthday. yesterday his parents held their son's funeral. he had a partner and a baby daughter and two teenagers have been arrested for his murder. this event leaves behind a devastated family, friends and a very worried community.
i'm grateful for the work that police is undertaking to tackle violent crime in my constituency and the police officers is very welcome. but does the prime minister agree with me that the multistakeholder approach is vital to tackling crimes amongst our young people? and what can the government do to support not just the police but schools, colleges and local authorities in working to address this issue? prime minister johnson: first of all, i'm very sad to hear the news. like so many victims of violence, violent crime, the answer is not just policing, though that's vitally important and why we're investing so massively, 20,000 more police officers, and supporting them. but it's also, as she rightly says, important to get all the institutions in the state to work together.
schools, colleges, social services, and health service, mental health service, as well. >> thank you very much, mr. speaker. why is it so hard for this prime minister to admit that he made the rules so he should know the rules and he should follow the rules? everyone out there knows it's as simple as that. and if he has any shred of compassion for all those out there -- [indiscernible] -- prime minister johnson: mr. speaker, i entirely understand people's feelings and -- [indiscernible] -- what she says about obeying the rules when you maiblg the rules. she's completely right. on the other hand, i do urge her to wait until next week. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the opposition has been told there's going to be an inquiry. every single question on one
issue. [indiscernible] [shouting] in january, 2021, -- [indiscernible] -- extension. do you agree with me that -- [indiscernible] -- most left behind community and the bill includes a provision -- [indiscernible] -- prime minister johnson: mr. speaker, we certainly -- thank you very much. we will be expanding access to include new financial assets which would unlock the next 118 million pounds. the community wealth fund he proposes is certainly an option. i thank him very much. >> thank you, mr. speaker. my constituents -- [indiscernible] --
>> susan was allowed to go in the ambulance and followed the ambulance. after her husband had a heart attack. mr. speaker, in their word, not mine in their words, the prime minister is a char la tan, a hypocrite and liar. what will he now say -- >> i want more moderate and temp rate language. prime minister johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. i won't repeat that. i understand the feelings that he has relayed to me as i said last week. and i sympathize very deeply
with the feelings and i understand why people feel that they do. i recognize the enormous sacrifice people have made. i apologize misjudgments made by me or anybody else. please ask him to wait for the inquiry to conclude. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i recently attended a debate held by my honorable friend seeking a central london memorial for the photographic reconnaissance unit. one of my constituents, a pilot, who is 98 next week. and is one of the last surviving members of the unit. will the prime minister join my honorable friend, me in backing this fitting and needed memorial? prime minister johnson: i thank him very much and i will certainly do what i can to support it. though of course as he knows the
memorial is a matter for local authorities. what this house and government can certainly do is ensure that memorials are not desecrated. and make sure that we support legislation that penalizes those who indulge in such desecration. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, when a prime minister is spending his time trying to convince the great british public that he's actually stupid rather than dishonest, isn't it time that he goes now? prime minister johnson: i think that was a question for you rather than me but i've made my point. i think the public responded to what this government has had to say in the most eloquent way possible. they have helped defeat covid so
far, mr. speaker. with the steps they have taken, by getting vaccinated. i thank you. >> just for the record, it's not the speaker's questions. >> our armed forces have earned the respect and admiration of our nation. not least during the pandemic. on sunday we commemorate their sacrifices but on armed forces day, on the 25th of june, we'll celebrate all that's amazing about the army, navy and air force. in a normal year we get about 20,000 people at the events in scarborough but it year we'll finally host up to two national armed forces day. will the prime minister pull up all stops on land, sea and air to make this truly an event to remember? prime minister johnson: mr. speaker, i have no doubt it will be absolutely spectacular across the country and scarborough will
make a terrific contribution and notable contribution as well. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i asked the prime minister if he agreed with the principle that politicians shouldn't lie. he replied, would he like to amend the record? [laughter] >> thank you, mr. speaker. the vast majority of people across northern ireland believe that whatever the question, double jobbing is not the answer. can i ask my right honorable friend to listen to the majority and ask him not to move the government of edmund in the other place day to day? prime minister johnson: i'm grateful to my honorable friend. and i'm advised that it is going
to be withdrawn. >> mr. speaker, my constituents are rightly -- [indiscernible] -- the prime minister's behavior. but while downing street -- [indiscernible] -- people across the northeast are worrying about rising food and energy bills. rising unemployment. and rising levels of quality. does the prime minister agree with me that his government has failed and it's time for him to go? prime minister johnson: , no mr. speaker. i really don't agree with her. i don't think she's been following anything that's been said this afternoon. we have unemployment falling to near record los, -- lows, mr. speaker, and we have job visa cabsies -- vacancies at record highs, mr. speaker. that's what governments do. they create jobs and they get
the economy moving. >> let me say this -- thank you, mr. speaker. i've spent weeks and months talking to angry constituents. i remind them about -- [indiscernible] -- but i expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for the actions they take. yesterday he did the opposite of that. so i'll remind him of a quotation all too familiar to him of neville chamberlain. you've sat too long for the good you've done and the name of god, go. [yelling] >> order, order. >> prime minister. prime minister johnson: i don't know what he's talking about.
but what i can tell him, i don't know what quotation he's alluded to. what i can tell him is that -- and i think i told this house rerepeatedly, i take full responsibility for everything i've done in this government throughout the pandemic. >> does the prime minister agree with the leader of the house that the leader of the scottish conservatives is a lightweight? prime minister johnson: mr. speaker, the conservative approach to the union is one that i think is right for our country. we want to keep it together and conservatives in scotland do an excellent job and that's why there's stout defense of the union in the last election and labor, mr. speaker, is increasingly endangering our
union. >> mr. speaker, many people last week welcomed the five-year moratorium, however the m-27 is due to be open in a couple of months. what re'insurance can my right honorable friend give my constituents that the m-27 will be safe and give them confidence to use it? prime minister johnson: i thank you very much. i can assure that we're well aware of the -- [indiscernible]