Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

Sir Keir Starmer on Sunday accused the prime minister of “corrupt” and “despicable” behavior over the growing scandal surrounding the government’s handling of the Owen Paterson lobbying case and the failed attempt to create an appeal system for MPs accused of transgression.

After a week of accusations of sleaze, Labor leaders said Boris Johnson was destroying the UK’s reputation, adding that the prime minister had repeatedly shown a pattern that he was unable to “maintain standards in public life. ”

“Owen Paterson was running the government on behalf of a company that paid him hundreds of thousands of pounds, and he was rightly found guilty of it,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

“The prime minister comes together and instead of maintaining standards, he ordered his MPs to protect his partner and uproot the whole system. This is corrupt. It is despicable and it is not a one-off ”.

In a rare intervention over the weekend, former Conservative Prime Minister John Major expressed concern on the handling of the case, arguing that recent events have shown that Johnson’s administration is sometimes “politically corrupt” and “unconservative”.

Starmer argued that Major “rolled up his sleeves” in the 1990s and tackled sleaze head on through the creation of the Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life. In contrast, “Boris Johnson is the prime minister leading his troops through the sewer – he is up to his neck in this,” the labor leader said.

Last week, ministers acknowledged that the government had made a mistake in trying to link parliamentary reform to the case of former Conservative minister Owen Paterson, who is being investigated by the Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards for Aid and the prospect of a suspension of 30 days. .

On Wednesday, nearly 250 Tory MPs voted with the government in a bid to reform parliamentary procedures, institute an appeal process and reverse Paterson’s suspension. The next day, the leader of the House, Jacob Rees-Mogg, announced a U-turn, citing a lack of support between parties.

Paterson, who denied any wrongdoing, thank you on Thursday.

Environment Minister George Eustice acknowledged that mistakes had been made by the government, but described the matter as “a Westminster storm in a teacup”.

“Yes, we made a mistake in bringing it forward the way we did, so we withdrew it,” he said Sunday on Sky News program Trevor Phillips. “But the general principle, that you should have proper procedure and a right of appeal in these types of situations, I think no one doubts.”

Opposition parties have intensified pressure on the government. Following reports that Tory MPs are threatened with loss of state funding if they do not support the government, the Liberal Democratic leader, Sir Ed Davey, wrote to Cabinet Secretary Simon Case to launch an investigation into the matter, the Sunday Times report.

Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner wrote to Case urging him to “ask the questions the prime minister should have asked”.

“We know the prime minister has tried to abuse his power, we know many of his own MPs have been furious about this and we know some have felt threatened by following the line,” Rayner said.

“What we do not know is whether the prime minister raised a finger to get to the bottom of these very serious allegations and make sure there was no further offense.”

Labor’s shadow leader of the Commons, Thangam Debbonaire, on Sunday called for Rees-Mogg to resign.

Eustice told the BBC he was not directly involved in decision-making on the matter, adding that talks surrounding “Jacob Rees-Mogg. . . and also the chief whip and the prime minister and other advisers ”.

“If I were him, I would have considered my position, and that’s what I think he should do today,” Debbonaire said in an interview with Sky News about Rees-Mogg. When asked if she asked the leader of the House to resign, she said, “I think his position is untenable, yes.”

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