PMQs: Ian Blackford slams Boris Johnson saying 'it's all a joke to the Prime Minister'

Boris Johnson had to defend himself in PMQs after facing a verbal barrage from opposition party leaders

Published Last updated

Boris Johnson labelled the Labour leader "Sir Beer Korma" after he called for the Prime Minister to resign following the Sue Gray report.

Mr Johnson addressed the house with a statement addressing Sue Gray's report opening his speech with: "I am grateful to Sue Gray for her report today."

Following the release of Ms Gray's report, the Prime Minister outlined various departmental changes that have taken place since the parties outlined in the report.

He added: "Significant changes have already been enacted" and "changes in organisation in aims to create clearer lines of accountability" have been implemented.

Sir Keir Starmer retaliated at Mr Johnson's statement adding: "You cannot be a lawmaker and a lawbreaker."

Sir Kier retaliated at the Prime Minister adding: "You cannot be a lawmaker and a lawbreaker"
Sir Kier retaliated at the Prime Minister adding: "You cannot be a lawmaker and a lawbreaker"

Mr Johnson outlined that he is "humbled" by the report and has "learned a lesson".

SNP MP Ian Blackford called on Mr Johnson to be ousted following the publication of Ms Gray's report addressing Conservative MPs: "If they don't remove this Prime Minister, how will they ever look their constituents in they eye ever again?"

Responding to questions from MPs in the Commons regarding parties detailed in Ms Gray's report, the Prime Minister said: " The best thing now for our country is to move forward and that is what we are going to do."

Mr Johnson labelled the labour leader "Sir Beer Starmer"
Mr Johnson labelled the labour leader "Sir Beer Starmer"

The SNP Commons leader expanded upon graphic boozy details outlined in Ms Gray's report adding: "Empty bottles littering office, rooms so crowded people were sitting on each-others laps and security forced to intervene because the parties were so outrageous.

"At the centre was the Prime Minister orchestrating it, grabbing a glass for himself in order to toast party-goers."

Mr Blackford followed his statement adding: "Will the Prime Minister now take the opportunity and resign."

An official inquiry into the Partygate scandal has said the “senior leadership” in Mr Johnson’s Government must “bear responsibility” for the culture which led to coronavirus lockdown rules being broken.

The report by Ms Gray said the public would be “dismayed” by a series of breaches of coronavirus rules in No 10 and Westminster.

“The events that I investigated were attended by leaders in government. Many of these events should not have been allowed to happen,” she said.

The Metropolitan Police has issued 126 fines for rule breaches in No 10 and Whitehall, with the Prime Minister receiving a single fixed-penalty notice for his birthday party.

SNP MP Ian Blackford addressed the commons at PMQs
SNP MP Ian Blackford addressed the commons at PMQs

But senior civil servant Ms Gray condemned the wider culture that had been allowed to develop under Mr Johnson’s leadership.

She said some of the more junior officials who attended parties “believed that their involvement in some of these events was permitted given the attendance of senior leaders”.

“The senior leadership at the centre, both political and official, must bear responsibility for this culture,” Ms Gray said.

She also said there were “multiple examples of a lack of respect and poor treatment of security and cleaning staff” during the events, which was “unacceptable”.

“Many will be dismayed that behaviour of this kind took place on this scale at the heart of Government,” she said.

“The public have a right to expect the very highest standards of behaviour in such places and clearly what happened fell well short of this.”

Mr Johnson will apologise to MPs in a Commons statement later.

The report issued by Ms Gray includes a series of photos, with Mr Johnson pictured at the surprise birthday party in the Cabinet Room on June 19, 2020, for which he received a fine.

He is seen with Cabinet Secretary Simon Case and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, with sandwiches, juices and what appears to be Estrella lager – in one picture Mr Johnson is seen raising a can of the beer aloft.

Other photos include the previously-seen images of Mr Johnson raising a glass of wine at a leaving do for his former spin doctor Lee Cain on November 13, 2020.

The Prime Minister will make a Commons statement later on Wednesday, then hold a press conference to apologise directly to the public.

He will also address a meeting of Tory MPs who ultimately hold his political future in their hands.

In his Commons appearance, Mr Johnson is expected to say: “I commissioned this report to set the record straight and allow us all to move on.

“I accept full responsibility for my failings. I am humbled by the whole experience.”

He will say he has learned the lessons from the situation.