Merk argiewe: portuurgroep

Peers laugh as statement on standards in public life read in House of Lords

Peers laugh as statement on standards in public life read in House of Lords
Lord True smirked as he read the statement to the chamber

Raucous laughter rang through the House of Lords chamber today as a statement on the regering’s “robust system for upholding public standards” was read out to portuurgroep.

Conservative peer Lord True repeated the bulletin issued earlier in the Commons by Cabinet Office minister Michael Ellis as a series of reports emerged of allegations that Chris Pincher had repeatedly made unwanted sexual advances to men.

Peals of laughter erupted from peers as a grinning Lord True said: “We are fortunate in this country to have a sophisticated and robust system for upholding public standards.

“And the system is multi-faceted; it is made up of interlocking and complementary elements.”

Baroness Evans, leader of the House of Lords, also appeared unable to contain her laughter.

It comes after Mr Ellis was heckled by opposition MPs throughout his 49-minute appearance in the Commons earlier today as he attempted to explain and defend the government’s handling of Mr Pincher’s alleged misconduct.

He faced questions about Boris Johnson’s knowledge of concerns raised against Mr Pincher, the MP for Tamworth who last week quit as the government’s deputy chief whip following claims he groped two men at a private members’ club.

The Cabinet Office minister, in his initial reply to an urgent question from Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner, detailed the bodies and institutions in place to try and uphold standards in public life.

Hy het bygevoeg: “No system can replace the fundamental importance of personal responsibility.

“We all know this to be true.

“Codes and rules and oversight bodies are there to guide us but we all ultimately in public life must choose for ourselves how to act.”

Mr Johnson is facing a spiralling backlash from within his party over his handling of the Mr Pincher row after he apparently forgot being told about an official complaint about the former minister’s “inappropriate” behaviour.

The prime minister’s spokesman confirmed that Mr Johnson was briefed on the complaint by officials at the foreign office in 2019, a “number of months” after it took place.