Boris Johnson faces PMQs as Tory MP joins Labour – live

Boris Johnson faces PMQs as Tory MP joins Labour – live
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Watch live as Boris Johnson faces Keir Starmer at PMQs as threat of no-confidence vote looms

Boris Johnson has been hit by the defection of a Red Wall MP to Labour just minutes before Prime Minister’s Questions as he battles to save his leadership.

Bury South MP Christian Wakeford said the country needed a government that “upholds the highest standards of integrity and probity” but told Mr Johnson “both you and the Conservative Party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves”.

Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson suggested a no-confidence vote in MrJohnson was now a matter of “when” rather than “if” after a dramatic shift in mindset among Conservative backbenchers.

Her comments came after 12 more Tory MPs reportedly submitted letters of no confidence on Wednesday morning.

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Floundering Boris Johnson says questions about No 10 party are ‘wasting people’s time’

Boris Johnson has said further questions about the partygate scandal are “wasting people’s time” as he floundered to respond to a grilling by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer at PMQs.

The prime minister refused to say when become aware that any of his staff had concerns about the drinks party in the Downing Street garden during lockdown.

My colleague Adam Forrest has this breaking story:

Boris Johnson says questions about No 10 party are ‘wasting people’s time’

PM refuses to say when he become aware staff had concerns about lockdown event

Chiara Giordano19 January 2022 12:30
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PM says Starmer ’must wait’ for inquiry when asked when he became aware of staff concerns about 20 May party

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer asked the prime minister when he first became aware that any of his staff had “concerns” about the gathering in the Downing Street garden on 20 May 2020.

Sir Keir said: “Not only did he write the rules, but some of his staff say they did warn him about attending the party on 20 May 2020.

“Now, I have heard the prime minister’s very carefully crafted response to that accusation. It almost sounds like a lawyer wrote it. So, I’ll be equally careful with my question. When did the prime minister first become aware that any of his staff had concerns about the 20 May party?”

Mr Johnson replied: “It is for the inquiry to come forward with an explanation of what happened”, adding: “I am afraid he simply must wait.”

Chiara Giordano19 January 2022 12:28
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Tories will ‘win again in Bury South’ says Boris Johnson after MP defects

The prime minister has said the Conservatives will “win again in Bury South” after the constituency’s MP crossed the floor from the Tories to the Labour Party.

Boris Johnson told PMQs: “As for Bury South, let me say to him, the Conservative Party won Bury South for the first time in a generation under this Prime Minister on an agenda of of uniting and levelling up and delivering for the people of Bury South. We will win again in Bury South.”

His claim came after Keir Starmer welcomed Bury South MP Christian Wakeford to the opposition benches, and said the invite was open to any other Conservative MPs.

Chiara Giordano19 January 2022 12:21
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Christian Wakeford: Read full statement as Tory MP joins Labour

Conservative MP Christian Wakeford delivered a harsh blow to Boris Johnson just minutes before prime minister’s questions by defecting to the opposition.

Branding the PM’s behaviour disgraceful, Mr Wakeford also took a swipe at the cost of living crisis and the Tories’ “standards of integrity in public life”, saying the government had shown itself consistently out of touch.

Here’s his statement in full:

Full statement by Christian Wakeford as he attacks PM’s ‘disgraceful’ behaviour

Conservative MP Christian Wakeford delivered a harsh blow to Boris Johnson just minutes before prime minister’s questions by defecting to the opposition.

Chiara Giordano19 January 2022 12:16
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Boris Johnson tells PMQs he will not resign over Downing Street party allegations

Boris Johnson replied “no” when asked if he would resign by Liberal Democrat MP Wendy Chamberlain (North East Fife).

Ms Chamberlain highlighted “excuses” made by the Prime Minister over Downing Street party allegations, adding: “There’s no excuse for taking the British people for fools.

“Would the Prime Minister agree it’s now time for him to resign?”

Mr Johnson replied: “No, Mr Speaker. But what I can tell her, as I said to the House last week, I apologise sincerely for any misjudgments that were made.”

He asked Ms Chamberlain to wait for the inquiry to report before she comes to any conclusions.

Chiara Giordano19 January 2022 12:09
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Loud cheers as Christian Wakeford takes his seat behind Labour leader for PMQs

This is from our political editor Andrew Woodcock, who is in the Commons chamber for PMQs today just moments after Tory MP Christian Wakeford defected to the Labour party.

Loud cheering from Labour MPs as Christian Wakeford takes his seat on the opposition benches.

Very loud cheers from Tories and fists banging on seatbacks as Boris Johnson arrives.

Mr Wakeford opted to sit on the second row behind Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Chiara Giordano19 January 2022 12:04
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Boris Johnson no-confidence vote ‘when, not if’, says senior Tory

A no-confidence vote in Boris Johnson is now a matter of “when” rather than “if” after a dramatic shift in mindset among Conservative backbenchers, former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has said.

The Tory peer’s remarks come as reports indicate that around 12 MPs from the party’s 2019 election intake sent letters of no-confidence to 1922 Committee chair Sir Graham Brady this morning.

My colleague Adam Forrest has the full story:

Boris Johnson no-confidence vote ‘when not if’, says senior Tory

Dozen MPs from 2019 election intake thought to have submitted letters before PMQs

Chiara Giordano19 January 2022 11:58
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Tory MP defects to Labour moments before PMQs

The Conservative MP Christian Wakeford has defected to the Labour Party, in another blow to Boris Johnson just moments before prime minister’s questions.

As the prime minister faces the escalating threat of a leadership challenge over allegations of rule-breaking parties in No 10, Sir Keir Starmer welcomed the Bury South MP into Labour’s ranks.

Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn has this breaking news:

Tory MP defects to Labour in blow to Boris Johnson

The Conservative MP Christian Wakeford has defected to the Labour Party, in another blow to Boris Johnson just moments before prime minister’s questions.

Chiara Giordano19 January 2022 11:57
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Tory MP Christian Wakeford defects to Labour party

Christian Wakeford, the Tory MP for Bury South, is defecting to the Labour party.

Welcoming him to the party, Labour leader Keir Starmer said: “As Christian said, the policies of the Conservative government are doing nothing to help the people of Bury South and indeed are only making the struggles they face on a daily basis worse.

“People across Britain faces a cost of living crisis but this incompetent Tory government is asleep at the wheel, distracted by a chaos of its own making.”

Chiara Giordano19 January 2022 11:51
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Timeline of alleged gatherings across government during Covid restrictions

Boris Johnson is facing intense scrutiny over further allegations of rule-busting gatherings in No 10 as the rest of the country was subject to strict lockdown measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

After a leaked email showed over 100 No 10 staff were invited to “bring your own booze” event in the Downing Street garden on 20 May 2020, including the prime minister and his wife, Carrie Johnson, MPs within his own party have also called on Mr Johnson to resign.

Here, The Independent looks at all the allegations of gatherings across No 10, government and at the Conservative Party headquarters.

Timeline of alleged gatherings across government during Covid restrictions

Downing Street: Timeline of alleged gatherings across government during Covid restrictions

Chiara Giordano19 January 2022 11:35

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