Lindsay Hoyle says he 'won't be undermined' by Johnson
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An increasingly bitter feud between Sir Lindsay and Mr Johnson has developed in recent months over the handling of announcements to MPs. Parliamentary etiquette says that ministers should inform the Commons first when making any major policy announcements.
However, during the pandemic, a number of plans have first been made public in televised press conferences.
Amid rumours the Government is planning another major announcement tonight, Sir Lindsay took aim at Mr Johnson accusing him of showing disrespect to MPs.
He told MPs in the Chamber: “I can confirm that I’ve had no request from the Government to make a statement.
“Of course, I am open as soon as the Government wishes to come forward to say that it is going to make a statement.
“I will say to the Government, I repeatedly and continue to repeat, that it must be here, for backbenchers – whether Government or opposition – to hear it in this Chamber.
“This Chamber is where statements are made.”
He added: “I don’t want to fall out with the Prime Minister, but it is not a good way of getting Christmas cards between us because I take it and find it very very offensive.
“And I would say now, there is plenty of time for the Government to come forward and say it will make a statement here.
“What I do not want is statements to be made outside, I want the respect of this House.”
In a pointed jibe, he said he would stand up for Conservative MPs even if the Prime Minister wouldn’t.
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He said: “I expect the Government to make sure they respect their own backbenchers – because I do if he doesn’t.”
His remarks come after Tory MPs sat in gloomy silence through PMQs.
Conservatives have been left furious after a video emerged showing No10 staff joking about an illegal Christmas party in Downing Street.
They have accused those breaking the rules of showing contempt for members of the public.
Tory peer and former Conservative Party chairwoman Sayeeda Warsi said this morning: “Every minister, parliamentarian and staffer at the Downing Street party must resign now.
“No ifs no buts. The rule of law is a fundamental value, the glue that hold us together as a nation.
“Once that is trashed by those in power the very essence of our democracy is at stake.”
Anne Marie Morris, the Conservative MP for Newton Abbott, added: “Clearly there were rules in place that most of us were diligently following (despite how difficult they were) and they decided to break them.
“It’s not on and, at the very least, they should admit their blatant error and apologise for breaking the rules they imposed on society.”
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