Debates between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson during the 2019 Parliament

Wed 25th May 2022
Thu 24th Feb 2022
Mon 31st Jan 2022
Wed 19th Jan 2022
Thu 16th Sep 2021
Mon 6th Sep 2021
Wed 18th Aug 2021
Wed 12th May 2021
Wed 6th Jan 2021
Wed 30th Dec 2020
European Union (Future Relationship) Bill
Commons Chamber

2nd reading & 2nd reading & 2nd reading: House of Commons & 2nd reading
Wed 4th Nov 2020
Mon 12th Oct 2020
Tue 22nd Sep 2020
Mon 14th Sep 2020
United Kingdom Internal Market Bill
Commons Chamber

2nd reading & 2nd reading & 2nd reading: House of Commons & Money resolution & Money resolution: House of Commons & Programme motion & Programme motion: House of Commons & 2nd reading & Programme motion & Money resolution
Tue 23rd Jun 2020

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Tuesday 28th February 2023

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait Boris Johnson
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his continuing commitment to Great British Nuclear, but is it not vital that we reaffirm the target of 24 gigawatts by 2050 and that we accelerate the tech selection process, so that small modular reactors, whether made by Rolls-Royce or anybody else—it would be wonderful if they came from this country—are on contract with Great British Nuclear by the end of the year, so we can get back to the nuclear tradition that this country once had and undo the baleful, luddite, “Atomkraft? Nein, danke” legacy of the Labour party? [Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. I have the greatest respect, but these are Topicals and I want to get everybody else in as well. And I agree—nuclear reactors from Lancashire could be fantastic.

Tributes to Her Late Majesty The Queen

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Friday 9th September 2022

(1 year, 8 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait Boris Johnson (Uxbridge and South Ruislip) (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I hope the House will not mind if I begin with a personal confession. A few months ago, the BBC came to see me to talk about Her Majesty the Queen. We sat down and the cameras started rolling, and they requested that I should talk about her in the past tense. I am afraid that I simply choked up and could not go on. I am really not easily moved to tears, but I was so overcome with sadness that I had to ask them to go away.

I know that, today, there are countless people in this country and around the world who have experienced the same sudden access of unexpected emotion, and I think millions of us are trying to understand why we are feeling this deep, personal and almost familial sense of loss. Perhaps it is partly that she has always been there: a changeless human reference point in British life; the person who—all the surveys say—appears most often in our dreams; so unvarying in her pole-star radiance that we have perhaps been lulled into thinking that she might be in some way eternal.

But I think our shock is keener today because we are coming to understand, in her death, the full magnitude of what she did for us all. Think what we asked of that 25-year-old woman all those years ago: to be the person so globally trusted that her image should be on every unit of our currency, every postage stamp; the person in whose name all justice is dispensed in this country, every law passed, to whom every Minister of the Crown swears allegiance; and for whom every member of our armed services is pledged, if necessary, to lay down their lives.

Think what we asked of her in that moment: not just to be the living embodiment, in her DNA, of the history, continuity and unity of this country, but to be the figurehead of our entire system—the keystone in the vast arch of the British state, a role that only she could fulfil because, in the brilliant and durable bargain of the constitutional monarchy, only she could be trusted to be above any party political or commercial interest and to incarnate, impartially, the very concept and essence of the nation.

Think what we asked of her, and think what she gave. She showed the world not just how to reign over a people; she showed the world how to give, how to love and how to serve. As we look back at that vast arc of service, its sheer duration is almost impossible to take in. She was the last living person in British public life to have served in uniform in the second world war. She was the first female member of the royal family in a thousand years to serve full time in the armed forces.

That impulse to do her duty carried her right through into her 10th decade to the very moment in Balmoral—as my right hon. Friend said—only three days ago, when she saw off her 14th Prime Minister and welcomed her 15th. I can tell you, in that audience she was as radiant and as knowledgeable and as fascinated by politics as ever I can remember, and as wise in her advice as anyone I know, if not wiser. Over that extraordinary span of public service, with her naturally retentive and inquiring mind, I think—and doubtless many of the 15 would agree—that she became the greatest statesman and diplomat of all.

She knew instinctively how to cheer up the nation, how to lead a celebration. I remember her innocent joy more than 10 years ago, after the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, when I told her that the leader of a friendly middle eastern country seemed actually to believe that she had jumped out of a helicopter in a pink dress and parachuted into the stadium. [Laughter.] I remember her equal pleasure on being told, just a few weeks ago, that she had been a smash hit in her performance with Paddington Bear.

Perhaps more importantly, she knew how to keep us going when times were toughest. In 1940, when this country and this democracy faced the real possibility of extinction, she gave a broadcast, aged only 14, that was intended to reassure the children of Britain. She said then:

“We know, every one of us, that in the end all will be well”.

She was right. And she was right again in the darkest days of the covid pandemic when she came on our screens and told us that we would meet again—and we did.

I know I speak for other ex-Prime Ministers when I say that she helped to comfort and guide us as well as the nation. She had the patience and the sense of history to see that troubles come and go, and that disasters are seldom as bad as they seem. It was that indomitability, that humour, that work ethic and that sense of history that, together, made her Elizabeth the Great.

When I call her that, I should add one final quality, of course: her humility—her single-bar-electric-fire, Tupperware-using refusal to be grand. I can tell the House, as a direct eyewitness, that unlike us politicians, with our outriders and our armour-plated convoys, she drove herself in her own car, with no detectives and no bodyguard, bouncing at alarming speed over the Scottish landscape, to the total amazement of the ramblers and tourists we encountered.

It is that indomitable spirit with which she created the modern constitutional monarchy—an institution so strong, so happy and so well understood, not just in this country but in the Commonwealth and around the world, that the succession has already seamlessly taken place. I believe she would regard it as her own highest achievement that her son, Charles III, will clearly and amply follow her own extraordinary standards of duty and service. The fact that today we can say with such confidence, “God save the King” is a tribute to him but, above all, to Elizabeth the Great, who worked so hard for the good of her country not just now but for generations to come. That is why we mourn her so deeply, and it is in the depths of our grief that we understand why we loved her so much.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to the Mother of the House, Harriet Harman.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 20th July 2022

(1 year, 10 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank my hon. Friend for that excellent question. The accession of both countries will be good for them and make all our allies safer, and I think it will make the whole Euro-Atlantic security area stronger. I am proud of the role the UK has played in that accession.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to the Leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I want devolution to work, and I have had some good conversations with Mark Drakeford, but the devolved authorities, particularly Labour in Wales, need to do their job properly.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We come to the leader of the SNP, Ian Blackford.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am sure that everybody who has served this Government loyally and well deserves recognition of some kind, but as for the honours list, I am afraid the hon. Gentleman will have to contain his excitement.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. May I just say that we wanted good temper and better, moderate language? I do not think we got it then—well, I know we did not.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. I think the Prime Minister has got the message—also, I would like to hear your question as well.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My hon. Friend is a brilliant champion for Essex and her hospital. I know the case is under review by the Department, but never forget it is only possible because of the money this Government are investing.

Geraint Davies Portrait Geraint Davies (Swansea West) (Lab/Co-op)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Q15. The Prime Minister will be remembered as a man of his word: “Pile ’em high”—200,000 dead, the most in Europe; “F- business”—[Interruption.] This is the truth; they don’t like it, do they? Let’s listen to the truth: 400,000 fewer people in jobs than before the pandemic if we include the self-employed, which the Prime Minister does not. So will he now keep faith with the 3.7 million people who have taken out student loans since this Conservative Government have been in power and who now face rising inflation in terms of rent, heating and eating, and who now must pay—[Interruption.] Listen to that rabble. [Interruption.] Listen to them.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I will tell the hon. Gentleman what students want. They want to have a system where they do not pay back more than they borrow, and that is what we are putting in. They also want to make sure that they have a jobs market that will take them on with high-wage, high-skill jobs. The difference between Labour Members and us is that we get people into high-wage, high-skill jobs. They are prepared to let them languish on the dole, and that is the difference.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Final question: Sir Edward Leigh.

Confidence in Her Majesty’s Government

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Monday 18th July 2022

(1 year, 10 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister (Boris Johnson)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I beg to move,

That this House has confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.

I have no idea why the Leader of the Opposition has insisted that we must have a confidence motion today, when we could be sparing people from online harms—[Interruption.] That’s what he wanted. We could be fixing the defects in the Northern Ireland protocol, ending pointless barriers to trade in our country—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. It might be helpful to say that it is the Government who put down the motion.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

The Leader of the Opposition wants one, Mr Speaker, and since Labour Members want one and it is the right hon. and learned Gentleman’s constitutional prerogative, we will comply and we will win.

Let me tell the Leader of the Opposition why I believe that this is one of the most dynamic Governments of modern times, not just overcoming adversity on a scale we have not seen for centuries, but delivering throughout adversity. If he wants evidence of the temper and mettle of this Government, I remind him of how we began, when Parliament was deadlocked and he was shadow Brexit Secretary. Labour were the first Opposition in history to be absolutely petrified of calling a general election, and when they finally capitulated and agreed to submit to the verdict of the people, we sent the great blue Tory ferret so far up their left trouser leg that they could not move. We won the biggest Conservative victory since 1987 and the biggest share of the vote since 1979. We won seats they never dreamed of losing, from Wrexham to Workington, and from Bishop Auckland to Barrow. We turned Redcar bluecar, we saw 54 seats go straight from Labour to Tory, and we won by 80 seats. Then we worked flat out to repay that trust. With iron determination we saw off Brenda Hale and we got Brexit done. And although the rejoiners and the revengers were left plotting and planning and biding their time—I will have more to say about the events of the last few weeks and months in due course—we delivered on every single one of our promises.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Look, if the hon. Gentleman is saying that he is going to vote for confidence in this Government, I will certainly welcome his support. What I can tell him is that I believe that the achievements of this Government over the past three years have been very remarkable. As for his personal criticism of me, I am proud of what we have done and I am proud of the way I have been able to offer leadership in difficult times—let me put it that way.

The investment in the low earth orbit satellites has paid off. As I said, people in sub-Saharan Africa now have the chance to get an internet connection. It is a massive, massive success for global Britain. People around the world can now see the renewed ambition of this country, with the record £22 billion that we are investing to become a science superpower again and the new Advanced Research and Invention Agency. At the same time, the scientific solutions that we are providing are helping to solve the fundamental problems facing humanity.

On this sweltering day, let me remind the House that there are very few Governments in the world who could have organised a COP26 summit so far-reaching in its impacts. I thank my right hon. Friend the Member for Reading West (Alok Sharma) for what he did: committing 90% of the world to net zero by 2050, moving the world beyond the use of coal, moving from fossil-fuelled cars to electric vehicles, planting billions of trees around the world and launching the clean green initiative as we did at Carbis Bay, by which G7 Governments will now leverage the trillions of the private sector to help the developing world to use the clean, green technologies that offer economic as well as environmental salvation.

I think that people around the world can see more clearly than ever before that we have in this country—and, I think, in this House—a renewed willingness as global Britain to stand up for freedom and democracy. There could be no better proof of that than our campaign to help the Ukrainians. If it is true that I am more popular on the streets of Kyiv right now than I am in Kensington, that is because of the foresight and boldness of this Government in becoming the first European country to send the Ukrainians weapons—a decision that was made possible by the biggest investment in defence since the cold war. Although I think that that conflict will continue to be very hard, and our thoughts and prayers must continue to be with the people of Ukraine, I do believe that they must win and that they will win. Although that may, of course, be of massive strategic importance in the face of Putin’s adventurism and aggression, when the people of Ukraine have won it will also be a victory of right over wrong and of good over evil. I think that this Government saw that clearly, saw it whole and saw it faster than many other parts of the world. That is why I have confidence in this Government.

By the way, I have absolutely zero confidence in the Opposition. Eight of them—I never tire of saying this, and everyone must be saying it right up until the general election—eight of them, including the shadow Foreign Secretary, voted to discard this country’s independent nuclear weapon. I do not believe they would have done the same thing in standing up to Putin in a month of Sundays.

Last week I went up in one of our 148 Typhoon fighters, and I flew out over the North sea, over Doggerland. The drowned prairies are now being harvested again with tens of gigawatts of clean green energy. We will have 50 GW of offshore wind by 2050, and thanks to this Government’s activism I am proud to say that offshore wind is now cheaper than onshore wind. I looked down at that ghostly white forest of windmills in the sea, financed with ever growing sums from international investors, and I thought, “This is how we will fix our energy problems; this is how Europe should be ending its dependence on Putin’s gas.” I am proud of the way we have responded to the challenge, with a nuclear reactor every year rather than one every 10 years—or none at all, as was the ridiculous and catastrophic policy of the last Labour Government.

And then the wing commander interrupted me, and for a glorious period I was at the controls of the Typhoon. I did a loop the loop and an aileron roll and a barrel roll, and then—I am coming to the point, Mr Speaker—I handed back the controls. In a few weeks’ time, that is exactly what I will do with this great party of ours. After three dynamic and exhilarating years in the cockpit, we will find a new leader, and we will coalesce in loyalty around him or her, and the vast twin Rolls-Royce engines of our Tory message, our Conservative values, will roar on: strong public services on the left and a dynamic free-market enterprise economy on the right, each boosting the other and developing trillions of pounds of thrust. The reason we will keep winning is that we are the only party that understands the need for both.

Whatever happens in this contest, we will continue to fight for the lowest possible taxes and the lightest possible regulation. The Opposition’s problem is that they would try to fly on one engine, kowtowing to the union barons, endlessly inflicting more tax and more spending, endlessly giving in to the temptation to regulate us back into the orbit of the European Union, and flying round in circles.

Some people will say, as I leave office, that this is the end of Brexit. Listen to the deathly hush on the Opposition Benches! The Leader of the Opposition and the deep state will prevail in their plot to haul us back into alignment with the EU as a prelude to our eventual return. We on this side of the House will prove them wrong, won’t we? [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear!”] Some people will say that this is the end of our support for Ukraine. [Interruption.] That is exactly the analysis. The champanskoye corks have allegedly been popping in the Kremlin, just as the Islington lefties are toasting each other with their favourite “Keir Royale”. But I have no doubt that whoever takes over in a few weeks’ time will make sure that we keep together the global coalition in support of our Ukrainian friends.

Some people will say—and I think it was the Leader of the Opposition himself who said it—that my departure means the eventual victory of the Labour party. I believe that those on this side of the House will prove the Leader of the Opposition totally wrong, and that in due course we will walk the right hon. and learned Member for Holborn and St Pancras into the capsule at Newquay that I mentioned earlier, and send him into orbit, where he belongs. And I tell the right hon. Member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber (Ian Blackford), who speaks for the Scottish nationalists, that it is time for him to take his protein pill and put his helmet on, because I hear it will not be long before his own party is taking him to Shetland and propelling him to the heavens.

This Government have fought some of the hardest yards in modern political history. We have had to take some of the bleakest decisions since the war, and I believe that we got the big calls right. At the end of three years, this country is visibly using its newfound independence to turbocharge our natural advantage as the best place in the world not just to live and to invest but to bring up a family. With a new and incontrovertible spirit of global leadership, I believe that we can look to the future with rock-solid confidence not just in what this Government have done but in what they will do and will continue to do. I commend this motion to the House.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

I now call the Leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer, to respond.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 13th July 2022

(1 year, 10 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister (Boris Johnson)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

From tomorrow—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. [Interruption.] Shut up a minute. [Interruption.] Order! I say to the hon. Member for East Lothian (Kenny MacAskill) that I will not tolerate such behaviour. If you want to go out, go out now, but if you stand up again, I will order you out. Make your mind up. Either shut up or get out. [Interruption.] I warned the hon. Gentleman—[Interruption.] Shut up a minute. [Interruption.] Two at once! [Interruption.] Order! Sit down.

I now warn the hon. Members for East Lothian and for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Neale Hanvey) that if they persist in refusing to comply with my order to withdraw, I shall be compelled to name both of them, which may lead to their being suspended from the House. [Interruption.] Order. I am now naming you, Neale Hanvey and Kenny MacAskill, and I ask you to leave the Chamber. Serjeant, deal with them. Out—now. Serjeant at Arms, escort them out. Take them out. Serjeant, get them out!

Now then, let us just see if we can—[Interruption.] Mr Costa, you do not want to want to escort them to the Tea Room, do you? I suggest not. I think you are better behaved than that.

The Speaker directed Neale Hanvey and Kenny MacAskill to withdraw from the House, and the Members withdrew accordingly.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

From tomorrow, the first instalment of the cost of living payment will start landing in the bank accounts of 8 million households across the country. This is a much-needed £326 cash boost for families, which forms part of the £1,200 in direct support that we are giving the most vulnerable households this year.

I am sure the whole House was appalled and saddened, as I was, to hear about the despicable attack on Shinzo Abe. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones, and with the people of Japan, at this dark and sad time.

This week we remember the genocide in Srebrenica and the victims of those appalling events. We must learn the lessons of history, and do all in our power to prevent such a thing from happening again. We will continue to combat war crime deniers, both in Bosnia and Herzegovina and elsewhere.

This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall have further such meetings later today.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank my hon. Friend; he is a great champion for Aberconwy. I much enjoyed the Penderyn whisky that we sampled together, although I ignored the Revolver, as some of you may have noticed. We are committed to uniting and levelling up the UK, and as for the second round of the levelling up fund announcements, it will be coming this autumn.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to the Leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am proud of the investment this country attracts from around the world. The right hon. and learned Gentleman talks about people from offshore investing in the UK, and I am absolutely thrilled to see we have had £12 billion of tech investment alone coming in over the last couple of months. It is possible that he is referring not to me but to some of the eight brilliant candidates who are currently vying for my job. Let me just tell him that any one of them would wipe the floor—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. The furniture has to be repaired. One Member has already had a bill, and I am sure he does not want another.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Any one of the eight candidates would wipe the floor with Captain Crasheroony Snoozefest. In a few weeks’ time, that is exactly what they will do. They will unite around the winner and do just that.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I think everybody who has played a part in the last three years has done a remarkable job in helping this country through very difficult times. I just want to say to the right hon. and learned Gentleman that the next leader of my party may be elected by acclamation, so it is possible that this will be our last confrontation over this Dispatch Box. [Interruption.] It is possible. So I want to thank him for the style in which he has conducted himself. It would be fair to say that he has been considerably less lethal than many other Members of this House, Mr Speaker, and I will tell you why that is. He has not come up—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. I just say to Members at this end of the Labour Front Bench that I expect better behaviour, and I am certainly going to get it.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

As I was saying, there is a reason for that: over three years, in spite of every opportunity, the right hon. and learned Gentleman has never really come up with an idea, a plan or a vision for this country. At the end of three years, we got Brexit done, which he voted against 48 times; we delivered the first vaccine in the world and rolled it out faster than any other European country, which would never have been possible if we had listened to him; and we played a decisive role in helping to protect the people of Ukraine from the brutal invasion by Vladimir Putin—it helped to save Ukraine.

I am proud to say that we are continuing, and every one of the eight candidates will continue, with the biggest ever programme of infrastructure, skills and technology across this country, to level up in a way that will benefit the constituents of every Member of this House. It is perfectly true that I leave not at a time of my choosing—[Interruption.] That is absolutely true. But I am proud of the fantastic teamwork that has been involved in all of those projects, both nationally and internationally. I am also proud of the leadership that I have given. [Interruption.] I will be leaving, soon, with my head held high.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Of course the Labour Government in Wales is responsible for schools, but what we have been doing is not only increasing the living wage by £1,000 and providing the £37 billion-worth of financial support that I mentioned, but helping councils with a £1.5 billion household support fund to get families such as those the right hon. Lady mentions through the tough times. We will come out very strongly the other side.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to a closed question from Sir Mike Penning.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

It is a long-standing practice, I think accepted on both sides of the House, that we do not comment on special forces. That does not mean that we in any way accept the factual accuracy of the claims to which the hon. Gentleman has alluded; nor does it mean that anybody who serves in Her Majesty’s armed forces is above the law.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I warn other Members that the matter is sub judice—I allowed the question because it was very general, which is the only way I would allow it to be discussed at the moment.

--- Later in debate ---
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Before the Prime Minister answers, let me say to Members that, although I have allowed the matter to be raised, we should be careful about going into detail on the first person because the case is sub judice. I am sure the Prime Minister can answer the question in general terms.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank you for your guidance, Mr Speaker. I think we can safely say how much we sympathise with the victim and her family. Knife crime is a scourge, and I believe there are many different solutions, but one of them unquestionably is allowing the police to do more stop and search and making sure we have more police out on the street. That is why we have made the massive investments we have, and I hope that those investments will continue. I am sure that they will.

Rape and serious sexual offences—offences particularly against women—are a matter that is incredibly important to the whole House, and they are something we have worked on very hard over the past three years. We have done everything we can; not only have we introduced more streetlights, but we have invested more in independent sexual violence advisers and domestic violence advisers and all the people we need to give victims the confidence they need to get cases to trial, which is such a problem. In addition to putting more police out on the streets and specialist units to tackle—[Interruption.] Yes, we have. We have also introduced tougher sentences for rape and serious sexual violence. I have to say I am amazed that it is still the case that the party of the Leader of the Opposition voted against those tougher sentences. That was a great mistake, and I think they should take it back.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. At the start of Prime Minister’s questions, the hon. Members for East Lothian (Kenny MacAskill) and for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Neale Hanvey) persistently denied the authority of the Chair. In their absence, I wish to proceed to name them, and I call on the Leader of the House to move the relevant motion.

Kenny MacAskill, Member for East Lothian, and Neale Hanvey, Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, were named by the Speaker for wilfully disregarding the authority of the Chair (Standing Order No. 44).

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 44), That Kenny MacAskill and Neale Hanvey be suspended from the service of the House.—(Mark Spencer.)

Question agreed to.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 6th July 2022

(1 year, 10 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank my hon. Friend for what he is doing to campaign for tougher sentences and against knife crime in Milton Keynes. As a result of what the Conservatives have done, adults who are convicted of certain offences involving a knife, including threatening with a knife or a second offence of possession, face a minimum sentence of six months’ imprisonment—and guess who voted against tougher sentences for knife crime?

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

We now come to the Leader of the Opposition.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

The difference between—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. We have to get through Prime Minister’s questions.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

The difference between this Government and that Opposition is that we have a plan and they do not, and we are getting on with it. They want to focus on this type of issue; we are going to get on with our jobs. We are going to control prices by not giving in to the union barons; they are paid by the union barons and they are proud of it. We were the first European country to arm the Ukrainians; I am proud of that. Those guys, in the Labour party opposite, not only wanted to put the right hon. Member for Islington North into No. 10, but eight of them—the shadow Foreign Secretary, the shadow deputy leader and six others—voted to get rid of our independent nuclear deterrent. Today, we are cutting taxes, we are helping half a million people into work and, thanks to the strength of our economy, we are helping people up and down the country. And we are going to continue to deliver on the mandate I was given.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank my hon. Friend very much for all the work that he has done and continues to do for veterans. The Bill will give veterans the certainty that they deserve. We are fulfilling the manifesto pledge to end the cycle of investigations, but at the same time we are making sure that families can get the answers that they need about what happened to their loved ones.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

We now come to the leader of the SNP.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

What I can tell the hon. Gentleman is this. Rather than talking about fantasy infrastructure, I can tell him about real infrastructure. We are helping to unite and level up the people of this country with £650 billion of investment. We are helping people—helping to lift the aspirations and opportunities of people up and down the country. Thanks to the strength of our economy, we are helping exactly the people whom the hon. Gentleman describes, with £1,200 going into their bank accounts to help them with the cost of living pressures.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call the Father of the House.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I want to be clear. What I want to say, and I say it again, is that I regret the way the appointment happened. I was clear with the House about what I knew at the time, but I want to stress that I take this matter extremely seriously. I am very sorry for the impact it has had on the victims, but the individual in question, the right hon. Member for Tamworth (Christopher Pincher), is now subject to an independent complaints and grievance procedure. As soon as that began—as soon as a complaint was made, I should say—the Whip was taken away.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Let me just say that we do not know that that is the case. It is confidential, and I think we have to stop referring to something we do not know. I want to put the House on notice that we do not mention it.

--- Later in debate ---
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. Can I just say that Members ought to be embarrassed by clapping? [Interruption.] Order. Mr Esterson, this is not a debating society. This is Prime Minister’s questions. I want to get through the questions because other people want to catch my eye, and the way to do it is not by clapping.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

There is a very simple reason why they want me out, and that is because they know that otherwise we will get on with delivering our mandate and win another general election. That is the reality.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank my right hon. Friend very much for the point he has made again, but I just could not disagree with him more. Look at what the Government are doing today. We are cutting taxes for 30 million people, we have just completed a programme to get half a million people off welfare and into work, and, thanks to the strength of our economy, thanks to the position we are now in—because of decisions that we took and the Opposition opposed; we should never forget that—we are able to give £1,200 to 8 million of the poorest and most vulnerable families in this country. That is the right thing to do, we are getting on with it and we will continue with our active and energetic programme for the benefit of this country, uniting, levelling up and unleashing the prosperity of the entire nation.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

For the final question, I call Clive Betts.

CHOGM, G7 and NATO Summits

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Monday 4th July 2022

(1 year, 10 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

On the table of expenditure, the US is way out in front. I really congratulate Joe Biden on his leadership. Joe Biden and the Americans have really stepped up to the plate—a fantastic effort. We are spending the second biggest amount, and I think that the Poles are in third place. There is then a long tail of others, but everybody is now spending more and more. We agreed that we are in it for the long haul; that is the most important thing.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now bring in Paul Holmes.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 22nd June 2022

(1 year, 11 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to champion this type of approach, which makes a real difference to people’s lives and people suffering from mental health issues, helping them to find a route back into work. That is why we are commissioning more initiatives through funds such as the life chances fund, helping those people in society who face the biggest barriers to have happy and productive lives.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to the Leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer.

--- Later in debate ---
Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

If the Prime Minister is genuine about preventing strikes, will he tell this House how many meetings he or his Transport Secretary have had with rail workers this week to actually stop the strikes?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

This is the Government who love the railways and who invest in the railways. We are putting £96 billion into the integrated railway plan. I am proud to have built Crossrail, by the way, and we are going to build Northern Powerhouse Rail, but we have got to modernise our railways. It is a disgrace, when we are planning to make sure that we do not have ticket offices that sell fewer than one ticket every hour, that yesterday the right hon. and learned Gentleman had 25 Labour MPs out on the picket line, defying instructions—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. I want to hear the Prime Minister’s answer, even if some Members do not. I think they ought to show some respect to the Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

There were 25 Labour MPs and the shadow deputy leader out on the picket line, backing the strikers, while we back the strivers.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

My hon. Friend knows exactly of what he speaks, and we are doing just that. We are reforming train driver training to make entry into the sector simpler, while continuing, of course, to make sure that we meet vital safety requirements.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to the parliamentary leader of the SNP.

--- Later in debate ---
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. Can I just say that other Members do want to get in and, the longer the question, the fewer of them will get in? Your friendships will dwindle if you carry on like that.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I can tell my hon. Friend very briefly that it is 13,576 more police officers, with 200 more in Cheshire. They are also cutting neighbourhood crime—already by 31%—and our streets are getting safer as a result.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 15th June 2022

(1 year, 11 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My hon. Friend is a great champion for Dudley and for the Black Country. In addition to the £1,200 for the 8 million most vulnerable households, we are providing £400 to help everybody with the cost of energy. We are supporting the Black Country with cost-efficient energy infrastructure, and the region has already received £1.5 million to develop a cluster plan for decarbonisation.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to the Leader of the Opposition.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I think everybody can see that I have just answered the question. Once again, the right hon. Gentleman is guilty of what m’legal friends call “ignoratio elenchi”: he has failed to listen to what I have actually said. What would be useful, in supporting the UK economy right now, would be if the leader of the Labour party ended his sphinx-like silence about the RMT’s strikes coming up in the course of the next couple of weeks. Will he now break with his shadow Transport Secretary and denounce Labour’s rail strikes?

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Just to remind the Prime Minister—he seems to have forgotten—it is Prime Minister’s questions, not Opposition questions.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

He is in government. He could do something to stop the strikes, but he has not lifted a finger. I do not want the strikes to go ahead, but he does. He wants the country to grind to a halt so that he can feed off the division.

As for his boasting about the economy, he thinks he can perform Jedi mind tricks on the country—“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for”. “No rules were broken”. “The economy is booming”. The problem is, the Force just isn’t with him any more. He thinks he is Obi-Wan Kenobi; the truth is, he is Jabba the Hutt. Last week he stood there and boasted that we would continue to grow the economy. This week it turns out that the economy shrank for the second month in a row. How does it help Britain to have an ostrich Prime Minister with his head in the sand?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

There he goes again, Mr Speaker, running this country down. We have got the highest employment—the highest payroll employment—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Look, I want to hear the questions and the answers. Whether you like it or not, but I genuinely believe it, the public who watch Prime Minister’s questions also want to hear both.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

We have got lower unemployment than France, Germany, Italy or Canada. As I have said, we have the highest number of people in payroll jobs—620,000 more—since records began. The right hon. Gentleman might like to know that just in the first five months of this year, this country has attracted, I think, £16 billion of investment in its tech sector. He does not like these European comparisons; let us make them for him. That is three times as much as Germany, twice as much as France. He should be talking this country up, not running it down.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

rose—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. Let us hear the Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

A couple of quick points about Mr Corbyn—the right hon. Member for Islington North. First, the right hon. and learned Gentleman tried repeatedly to get him elected as Prime Minister. Secondly, speaking from experience, the right hon. Member for Islington North is relatively dynamic by comparison with the right hon. and learned Gentleman. Dynamic and coherent—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. It might be helpful if the Prime Minister could speak to me. I am struggling to hear because of the noise on both sides, so please look towards the Chair; it will be easier for both of us.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

What we are going to get on and do is continue to take the tough decisions to take this country forward—decisions that are on the side of the British people. The Opposition are blatantly on the side of the RMT union barons, when there are some ticket offices that barely sell one ticket per hour. We are on the side of the travelling public.

By the way, the right hon. and learned Gentleman has not mentioned this, but they are on the side of the people traffickers who would risk people’s lives at sea, and we are on the side of people who come here safely and legally. They carp and snipe from the sidelines—that is what they have always done—and we take the big decisions to take this country forward. No matter how much welly the deputy Leader of the Opposition, the right hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Angela Rayner), may ask him to apply, or how much welly he pretends to apply, that welly is always on the left foot.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 8th June 2022

(1 year, 11 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank my right hon. Friend for his question. He raises an issue on which the UK has campaigned for a long time, and no country is more committed than we are to bringing war criminals to justice. I know that my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister has raised the subject recently with the International Criminal Court. However, as he knows—and I will certainly, of course, study the case and take it up appropriately—it is the subject of an ongoing investigation, and it would not be appropriate for me to comment on it further.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We come to the Leader of the Opposition. [Interruption.]

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

This line of criticism is satirical coming from Labour, attacking our hospital building programme when the Labour Government were the authors of the PFI scheme that bankrupted so many hospitals. [Interruption.] They were. What we are doing instead is building 48 new hospitals—[Interruption.] Yes, we are—thanks to the biggest capital investment programme in the history of the NHS. From memory, we put in £33 billion as soon as we came in, then another £92 billion to cope with the pandemic, plus another £39 billion in the health and care levy. Labour Members opposed that funding. They opposed the health and care levy. They do not have a leg to stand on. We are building the foundations of our health service’s future and they should support it. [Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. Can I just say to both of you that you need to calm down? And there are two over here as well. The four of you could have a very nice cup of tea if you wish.

--- Later in debate ---
Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Mr Speaker, I bet they wish they had been this organised on Monday.

It is health week and the Prime Minister is telling Conservative Members that he is going to turn over a new leaf, so why does he not start by scrapping his plans to green- light “wanting and inadequate” NHS standards?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I have to tell the right hon. and learned Gentleman that I just think this line of attack is not working—[Interruption.] It is not working because they refused to approve—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. Once again, I think the two of you need to calm down. We do not want to see empty Front Benches.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Not only have we raised standards in the NHS, and not only are we reducing waiting times for those who have had to wait the longest, but more fundamentally, we are doing what the people of this country can see is simple common sense: using our economic strength to invest in doctors and nurses and get people on the wards, giving people their scans, screens and tests in a more timely manner and taking our NHS forward. We are on target to recruit 50,000 more nurses, thanks to this Government—[Interruption.] I am just going to repeat this, because the right hon. and learned Gentleman does not seem to have heard it so far—and thanks to the investments that the Labour party opposed. Perhaps he can explain why they opposed them.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I think everybody in the House has sympathy with Akshay and the other constituents, and their families, that he mentions. I share their feelings, but when we look at what this Government are doing— I must say this to the right hon. and learned Gentleman—we see that we are making colossal investments in our NHS. We are cutting waiting times, raising standards, paying nurses more and supporting our fantastic NHS. By the way, he continually came to this House—I will just remind him of this—and said that we had the worst covid record in Europe. It turned out to be completely untrue; he still has not retracted it. We can make those investments because of the strength of the UK economy, because of the fiscal firepower that we have to deploy. We have the lowest unemployment now since 1974 and we are going to continue to grow our economy for the long term.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman asks about the mission of this Government. It is to unite and level up across our whole country, to unleash the potential of our entire country. We have the biggest tutoring programme in history for young people and are raising literacy and numeracy standards for 11-year-olds from 65% adequacy to 90%—that is the highest objective that a Government could achieve. We are expanding home ownership, as the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and I will do for millions of people who currently do not have it—[Interruption.] No. We are cutting the costs of business to make this the enterprise centre of Europe. That is our vision, creating high-wage, high-skilled jobs for this country. As for jobs, I am going to get on with mine and I hope he gets on with his.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

I call Sir Oliver Heald—[Interruption.] I didn’t know you were so popular!

Oliver Heald Portrait Sir Oliver Heald (North East Hertfordshire) (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Q3. Changing the subject completely, in North East Hertfordshire we are very concerned about sewage overflows into our precious chalk streams. This is damaging to the flora and fauna, and also restricts the use of these precious streams for leisure. The Environment Act 2021 includes some important measures, and I welcome the fact that the Government have consulted on their reduction plan for storm overflows, but when can we expect to see meaningful improvements and real reductions in the amount of sewage going into our rivers?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I share my right hon. and learned Friend’s concern. Our sewage plan is the biggest investment by any Government. We have made it clear that water companies must do more. Actually, we are already seeing improvement, but the regulator is ensuring that the water companies do more to deliver on their obligations, and we will not hesitate to take further action as needed.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to the leader of the SNP, Ian Blackford.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 25th May 2022

(2 years ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

My hon. Friend is a fantastic champion for his constituents and for Addenbrooke’s. We are very proud of our NHS, which is why we are putting in record investment. I hope that the independent NHS Pay Review Body will listen carefully to what he has just said.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call the Leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank the right hon. and learned Gentleman very much, but I can tell him, actually, that what we are doing is massively increasing the speed with which the Passport Office delivers. To the best of my knowledge, everybody is getting their passport within four to six weeks. That is because we are driving the leadership of this country and we are getting things done that would never have been possible if we had listened to the Opposition. We got Brexit done when he voted 48 times—48 times—to undo the will of the people. We got the vaccine roll-out done when he would have kept us in the European Medicines Agency. We were the first European country to help the Ukrainians resist Vladimir Putin. Does anybody seriously believe for a second that the Opposition would have done it? [Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. Some are trying to boo; some are trying to cheer. The worst of it is that I cannot hear the Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Let me say very plainly: does anybody seriously think for a second that the Labour party would have done that when eight of the shadow Front Bench, including the shadow Foreign Secretary, the right hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr Lammy), who is mysteriously not in his place, voted recently to get rid of this country’s independent nuclear deterrent, and when the Leader of the Opposition campaigned to put Vladimir Corbyn—I mean, sorry, Jeremy Corbyn—in Downing Street?

We get on. We do the difficult things. We take the tough decisions. Social care: we are fixing it. We deliver; they dither. [Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. Prime Minister, we cannot both be on our feet. I am trying to help you; you have to help me as well. I am sure you have got to the end, because Mr Stuart is itching to get his question in.

Graham Stuart Portrait Graham Stuart (Beverley and Holderness) (Con)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Q4. When the Prime Minister gets passionate, things get done. Brexit is done. The vaccine—[Interruption.] If the Opposition can contain themselves—the vaccine roll-out is done. So will he personally intervene so that the immunocompromised, like my constituent Scott, can get access to British wonder-drug Evusheld—not next winter, not next year, but now—so that they can enjoy this summer and enjoy their freedom, just like the rest of us?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

As my hon. Friend, who I know has taken a keen interest in this for a while, Evusheld has the potential to reduce the risk of infection. We must look at the evidence before we can make a decision about whether it should be available, but I will make sure that the Department of Health and Social Care keeps him updated on the progress we are making.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

We now come to the leader of the SNP, Ian Blackford.

--- Later in debate ---
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. I could not hear the question or the advice I was being given, and it might be helpful if I could hear both. Prime Minister, did you manage to hear the question?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I heard enough to have a rough idea of the nonsense the hon. Gentleman was talking. We are not only supporting people now but will continue to put our arms around the people of this country, as we did during the pandemic and beyond.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Can I just say that moderate language is what we normally use, but I do not hear it now? It does not suit the Chair and I do not think it suits the country.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I begin by saying how grateful I am to the hon. Member for raising that case. I am afraid that I do not know directly about the events that she describes. What she says is very concerning and I will make sure that she gets a meeting with the relevant Minister as soon as possible.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

That ends Prime Minister’ questions—for those who wish to leave. I say to the House, as we come to the next statement, that I expect moderate and temperate language.

Sue Gray Report

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 25th May 2022

(2 years ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister (Boris Johnson)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

With permission, I will make a statement, Mr Speaker. I am grateful to Sue Gray for her report today, and I want to thank her for the work that she has done. I also thank the Metropolitan police for completing its investigation.

I want to begin today by renewing my apology to the House and to the whole country for the short lunchtime gathering on 19 June 2020 in the Cabinet Room, during which I stood at my place at the Cabinet table and for which I received a fixed penalty notice. I also want to say, above all, that I take full responsibility for everything that took place on my watch. Sue Gray’s report has emphasised that it is up to the political leadership in No. 10 to take ultimate responsibility, and, of course, I do. But since these investigations have now come to an end, this is my first opportunity to set out some of the context, and to explain both my understanding of what happened and what I have previously said to the House.

It is important to set out that over a period of about 600 days, gatherings on a total of eight dates have been found to be in breach of the regulations in a building that is 5,300 metres square across five floors, excluding the flats—[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I do think this is important, because it is the first chance I have had to set out the context. Hundreds of staff are entitled to work there, and the Cabinet Office, which has thousands of officials, is now the biggest that it has been at any point in its 100-year history. That is, in itself, one of the reasons why the Government are now looking for change and reform.

Those staff working in Downing Street were permitted to continue attending their office for the purpose of work, and the exemption under the regulations applied to their work because of the nature of their jobs, reporting directly to the Prime Minister. These people were working extremely long hours, doing their best to give this country the ability to fight the pandemic during—[Interruption.] Mr Speaker, I appreciate that this is no mitigation, but it is important to set out the context.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. I appeal to the House: I expect the statement to be heard, and I want everybody to hear it. I want the same respect to be shown to the Leader of the Opposition afterwards. Please: this is a very important statement. The country wants to hear it as well.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Mr Speaker, I am trying to set out the context, not to mitigate or to absolve myself in any way.

The exemption under which those staff were present in Downing Street includes circumstances where officials and advisers were leaving the Government, and it was appropriate to recognise them and to thank them for the work that they have done. [Interruption.] Let me come to that, Mr Speaker. I briefly attended such gatherings to thank them for their service—which I believe is one of the essential duties of leadership, and is particularly important when people need to feel that their contributions have been appreciated—and to keep morale as high as possible. [Interruption.] I am trying to explain the reasons why I was there, Mr Speaker.

It is clear from what Sue Gray has had to say that some of these gatherings then went on far longer than was necessary. They were clearly in breach of the rules, and they fell foul of the rules. I have to tell the House, because the House will need to know this—again, this is not to mitigate or to extenuate—that I had no knowledge of subsequent proceedings, because I simply was not there, and I have been as surprised and disappointed as anyone else in this House as the revelations have unfolded. Frankly, I have been appalled by some of the behaviour, particularly in the treatment of the security and the cleaning staff. I would like to apologise to those members of staff, and I expect anyone who behaved in that way to apologise to them as well.

I am happy to set on the record now that when I came to this House and said in all sincerity that the rules and guidance had been followed at all times, it was what I believed to be true. It was certainly the case when I was present at gatherings to wish staff farewell—the House will note that my attendance at these moments, brief as it was, has not been found to be outside the rules—but clearly this was not the case for some of those gatherings after I had left, and at other gatherings when I was not even in the building. So I would like to correct the record—to take this opportunity, not in any sense to absolve myself of responsibility, which I take and have always taken, but simply to explain why I spoke as I did in this House.

In response to her interim report, Sue Gray acknowledges that very significant changes have already been enacted. She writes:

“I am pleased progress is being made in addressing the issues I raised.”

She adds:

“Since my update there have been changes to the organisation and management of Downing Street and the Cabinet Office with the aim of creating clearer lines of leadership and accountability and now these need the chance and time to bed in.”

No. 10 now has its own permanent secretary, charged with applying the highest standards of governance. There are now easier ways for staff to voice any worries, and Sue Gray welcomes the fact that

“steps have since been taken to introduce more easily accessible means by which to raise concerns electronically, in person or online, including directly with the Permanent Secretary”.

The entire senior management has changed. There is a new chief of staff, an elected Member of this House who commands the status of a Cabinet Minister. There is a new director of communications, a new principal private secretary and a number of other key appointments in my office. I am confident, with the changes and new structures that are now in place, that we are humbled by the experience and we have learned our lesson.

I want to conclude by saying that I am humbled, and I have learned a lesson. Whatever the failings—[Interruption.] We will come to that. Whatever the failings of No. 10 and the Cabinet Office throughout this very difficult period—[Interruption.] And my own, for which I take full responsibility. I continue to believe that the civil servants and advisers in question—hundreds of them, thousands of them, some of whom are the very people who have received fines—are good, hard-working people, motivated by the highest calling to do the very best for our country. I will always be proud of what they achieved, including procuring essential life-saving personal protective equipment, creating the biggest testing programme in Europe and helping to enable the development and distribution of the vaccine that got this country through the worst pandemic of a century.

Now we must get our country through the aftershocks of covid with every ounce of ingenuity, compassion and hard work. I hope that today, as well as learning the lessons from Sue Gray’s report, which I am glad I commissioned—I am grateful to her—we will be able to move on and focus on the priorities of the British people: standing firm against Russian aggression; easing the hardship caused by the rising costs that people are facing; and fulfilling our pledges to generate a high-wage, high-skill, high-employment economy that will unite and level up across the whole of our United Kingdom. That is my mission, that is our mission, that is the mission of the whole Government, and we will work day and night to deliver it. I commend this statement to the House.

--- Later in debate ---
Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I have been clear what leadership looks like. I have not broken any rules, and any attempt to compare a perfectly legal takeaway while working to this catalogue of criminality looks even more ridiculous today, but if the police decide otherwise, I will do the decent thing and step down. The public need to know that not all politicians are the same—that not all politicians put themselves above their country—and that honesty, integrity and accountability matter.

Conservative Members now also need to show leadership. This Prime Minister is steering the country in the wrong direction. Conservative Members can hide in the back seat, eyes covered, praying for a miracle, or they can act to stop this out-of-touch, out-of-control Prime Minister driving Britain towards disaster. We waited for the Sue Gray report. The country cannot wait any longer. The values symbolised by the door of No. 10 must be restored. Conservative Members must finally do their bit. They must tell the current inhabitant, their leader, that this has gone on too long. The game is up. You cannot be a lawmaker and a lawbreaker, and it is time to pack his bags. Only then can the Government function again. Only then can the rot be carved out. Only then can we restore the dignity of that great office and the democracy that it represents.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

The right hon. and learned Gentleman talks about what went on in No. 10 Downing Street and the events behind that black door, and about the number of events. All I will say to him is that he, throughout the pandemic, was not leading many thousands of people in the fight against coronavirus. He was sniping from the sidelines and veering from one position to the next, and today he has done it again. Week after week, he could have come to this House and talked about the economy, about Ukraine, about the cost of living—but no, Mr Speaker: time after time, he chose to focus on this issue. He could have shown some common sense, and recognised that when people are working very hard together, day in day out, it can be difficult to draw the boundary between work and socialising. And yet, after months of his frankly sanctimonious obsession, the great gaseous zeppelin of his pomposity has been permanently and irretrievably punctured by the revelation that—he did not mention this— he is himself under investigation by the police.

I am not going to mince my words. I have got to say this. Sir Beer Korma is currently failing to hold himself to the same high standards that he demanded of me. It is true. He called for me to resign when the investigation began. Why is he in his place? Why—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. Mr Holden, for the second time, I ask you please to help me to help you, because I am sure you want to hear the rest of this.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

The right hon. and learned Gentleman should at least be consistent, and hold himself to the same standards. He is still there, and so is the deputy Leader of the Opposition.

I apologised when the revelations emerged, and I continue to apologise. I repeat that I am humbled by what has happened, and we have instituted profound changes throughout No. 10, but in view of the mess in which the right hon. and learned Gentleman has found himself, it would now be sensible for him, too, to apologise, so that we can all collectively move on. That, I think, is what the people of this country want to see above all. They want to see leadership from this House of Commons, and leadership from both parties, in dealing with their priorities. That is why we are focused on getting through the aftershocks of covid, that is why I am proud of what we did to roll out the fastest vaccine campaign in Europe, and that is why I am proud that we now have the lowest unemployment in this country for 50 years. That is what the people of this country want. I appreciate that the right hon. and learned Gentleman has his points to make, but I think that, overwhelmingly, the will of this country is for us now to say thank you to Sue Gray and for us collectively to move on.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

No, Mr Speaker, for the reason I have given: that at the time when I spoke to this House, I believed that what I was doing was attending work events, and, with the exception of the event in the Cabinet Room, that is a view that has been vindicated by the investigation.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

I call the leader of the Scottish National party, Ian Blackford.

--- Later in debate ---
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. I am sorry, but this is meant to be a question. Also we do not normally bring the monarchy into proceedings. I am sure that the Prime Minister will have got the gist. I understand the emotions behind this, but questions have to be shorter.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am very sorry for the hon. Gentleman’s loss. He has a perfect right to speak with the passion that he does. All I can say is that I take full responsibility for what happened, and we have made extensive changes.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 18th May 2022

(2 years ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Yes, indeed. I thank my hon. Friend very much for his campaign, and he is completely right. That is why we have a SEND review, and we will ensure that SEND children and young people can get access to the right support at the right place and at the right time across the country.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to the Leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer.

--- Later in debate ---
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. I am sorry, Prime Minister. I have got a real problem. Some people are not going to get in. Have we seen the time now, and we are only on question 16? I want everybody to help each other so that we can speed up and we might get a few more in.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank my hon. Friend, who is a massive champion for his constituency of North West Durham. I am delighted that he has been a supporter of County Durham’s city of culture bid—culture in its widest interpretation. I support him in everything he does.

Debate on the Address

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Tuesday 10th May 2022

(2 years ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

As I give way to the hon. Lady, I remind the House that there has never been a Labour Government who left office with unemployment lower than when they came in.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

It is not normal to give way in these speeches, but obviously the Prime Minister has agreed to do so.

--- Later in debate ---
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. Only one person can be on their feet at the same time. The Prime Minister is not giving way.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The Leader of the Opposition of the moment purports or claims to oppose the plans, but it turns out that they were actually pioneered in 2004 by a Labour Government. The right hon. and learned Gentleman may have got Tony Blair to take part in his election campaign, but it is a shame he cannot get behind Tony Blair’s policies.

During the pandemic, we marvelled at the courage and commitment of so many people: all the people working in our public services, from the extraordinary men and women in our NHS, risking their lives to save others, to those toiling to keep our country going, whether in schools or shops, or on public transport. It is therefore right that this Government are now investing more in our NHS than any other Government in history, giving our NHS the funding it needs to help to clear the covid backlogs. We will also make sure that every penny is well spent. Whether through pop-up clinics in our communities, more face-to-face GP appointments, or new cancer screening machines, we maximise the ability of our NHS to check and treat its patients.

But when times are tough and families are facing such pressures, we must also cut the cost of government and cut the burdens that the Government place on taxpayers and citizens. We cannot have expensive delays in delivering passports and driving licences that see families stranded and unable to go on holiday and HGV drivers unable to transport goods around this country in the way that is so integral to the economy we need. We are going to fix that.

Let me send a clear message from this House today: this Government will tackle the post-covid “mañana” culture. We will take whatever steps are necessary to deliver for the British people, because the British people are not prepared to wait, and we share their impatience.

We will get through the aftershocks of covid, just as we got through covid, as I have told you, Mr Speaker, with every ounce of ingenuity, compassion and hard work. We will do so not by irresponsible spending that merely treats the symptoms of rising prices while creating an ever-bigger problem for tomorrow, but by urgently pressing on with our mission to create the high-wage, high-skilled jobs that will drive economic growth across the United Kingdom—the whole United Kingdom. That is the long-term, sustainable solution to ease the burden on families and businesses. That is the way to get our country back on track after the pandemic, to unite and to level up across our whole country, exactly as we promised. That is what this Queen’s Speech delivers. I commend it to the House.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I now call the leader of the SNP, Ian Blackford.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 27th April 2022

(2 years, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Yes indeed, and if my hon. Friend looks at the levelling-up White Paper she will find that it is clearly directed at enhancing and improving the lives of people in our coastal communities, tilting resource and attention to those fantastic communities. I will make sure that she gets a meeting with the relevant Minister as soon as possible.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to the Leader of the Opposition.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

My hon. Friend is entirely right: those are the issues on which people will be voting. As I said, they will be voting for better value, better services and lower council tax, and I hope they will be voting Conservative.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to the leader of the SNP.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 20th April 2022

(2 years, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank my hon. Friend. He is a great champion for rural Cumbria and for bus services. He is right that Cumbria got another £1.5 million for buses. We want to put more into buses—I believe in them passionately myself—and I will ensure he has a meeting with the relevant Minister.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

We now come to the Leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Yes, Mr Speaker, I have been absolutely clear that I humbly accept what the police have said. I have paid the fixed penalty notice. What I think the country, and the whole House, would really rather do is get on with the things for which we were elected and deliver on our promises to the British people. [Interruption.] You could not have clearer evidence of the intellectual bankruptcy of Labour. [Interruption.]They have no plans for energy, they have no plans for social care—

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister (Boris Johnson)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

And they have no plans to fix the economy.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. Prime Minister, sit down. I want to hear what you have got to say, but I cannot hear when you talk in that way. I am here in the Chair: please, if you can help me.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

No, I think we have had enough.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

How many has he had? Mr Speaker —[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. Prime Minister, just a second. I want to hear the Prime Minister’s answers. I expect it both ways.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

It is an indication of the depths to which the right hon. and learned Gentleman is willing to sink that he accuses me—[Interruption.] He accuses me of traducing journalists. What he says is completely without any foundation whatever. I did not attack the BBC last night for their coverage of Ukraine. He must be out of his tiny mind. I said no such thing, and there are people behind me who will testify to that. He is completely wrong. That is the limit of his willingness to ask sensible questions today.

This Government are getting on with the serious problems that require attention, such as fixing our energy supply issues and, by the way, undoing the damage of the Labour Government, who did not invest in nuclear power for 13 years, with a nuclear power station every year. We are standing up to Putin, when the right hon. and learned Gentleman would have elected a Putin apologist—that is what he wanted to do, and he campaigned to do that. We are fixing our economy, with record numbers of people now in work, productivity back above what it was, and over half a million more people on the payroll than there were before the pandemic began. That is as a result of the decisions—the tough calls—that this Government have made. We get on with the job, while they flip-flop around like flounders on the beach.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank my hon. Friend. I am very pleased to hear about the work that Govox is doing to support mental health and wellbeing, and we are putting more money into mental healthcare support—an extra £2.3 billion a year in the next financial year, which of course we can supply thanks to the decisions taken by this Government, which the Labour party opposed.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

We now come to the leader of the SNP, Ian Blackford.

--- Later in debate ---
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. You are not responsible for that, Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Good point, Mr Speaker, but we are responsible for cutting taxes for everybody, which is what we are actually doing.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

When are the Scottish people going to hear—

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. Prime Minister, sit down.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Sorry, Mr Speaker. When are the Scottish people going to hear an ounce of sense from the Scottish nationalist—

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. Prime Minister, we cannot both stand up at the same time. I am trying to be helpful. We have got to be more moderate in the type of language used. “Pinocchio” is not acceptable. I am sure the hon. Member wishes to withdraw it quickly.

--- Later in debate ---
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Withdrawn. Let’s get on. Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Sorry, Mr Speaker, but I do not know what the question is, because the hon. Gentleman has withdrawn it. The answer is that we are going to get on with the job, and it would be nice to hear an ounce of sense from the Scottish nationalist party, or see some competent government.

Easter Recess: Government Update

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Tuesday 19th April 2022

(2 years, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. Let us try and see if we can keep it temperate and moderate. “There was no individual mentioned, so therefore it was within the rules”—that is not what I would expect, but that is where we are.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I heard what the hon. Member said. I do not agree with it, and nor do I agree with what he said about those on the Front Bench.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 30th March 2022

(2 years, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

The joint expeditionary force, or the JEF, is an increasingly important grouping of the Nordic countries, the Baltic countries, the Dutch and ourselves, and we are committed to working together in an active way to counter Russian aggression and support our Ukrainian friends. We had a successful meeting a couple of weeks ago and will have further such meetings in the course of the next few weeks.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to the Leader of the Opposition.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Yes. We are spending £69 million already to support the roll-out of superfast broadband in Wales. I wish the Welsh Government had not withdrawn their broadband scheme, but we will do our best to make up the difference as fast as possible.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

We now come to SNP leader Ian Blackford.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Of course we are doing everything that we can, with the £9.1 billion and the cold weather payments. The right hon. Gentleman is right to draw attention to the problem, and we are making huge investments in supporting people right now, with another £1 billion, by the way, through the household support fund to help vulnerable families. But when he talks about the cost of energy in Scotland, how absolutely preposterous it is that the Scottish nationalist party should still be opposed to the use of any of our native hydrocarbons in this country, with the result that the Europeans are importing oil and gas from Putin’s Russia. It is totally absurd.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Just for the record, it is the Scottish national party.

--- Later in debate ---
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. Shut up and be quiet—behave yourselves.

I hope that is the end of the question. I think the Prime Minister has got the gist of it, because I certainly have.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Much as I admire the hon. Gentleman’s style, I think it would be better in a light essay in The Guardian. What we are doing is tackling the cost of living by dealing with the spike in energy prices and making sure that we take the right long-term decisions to take this country forward—decisions that Labour completely shirked.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

My hon. Friend is absolutely right about the need to provide local homes for local people. We totally understand that—by the way, we are building a record number of homes in spite of all the difficulties that we have faced—and that is why we have introduced higher rates of stamp duty on second homes, removed the second home discount and are using £11.5 billion to build 180,000 affordable homes across the country. It is always the Conservatives who build affordable homes—that is true—and Labour who talk about it.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Final question: Sarah Olney.

Sarah Olney Portrait Sarah Olney (Richmond Park) (LD)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Q12. Last Friday, it emerged that there had been an oil spill in Beverley Brook, a river that flows through Richmond Park to the Thames. Black waste oil and iridescence can now be seen along 13 km of the watercourse, posing a serious threat to fish and local wildlife. The Environment Agency is investigating, but it is understaffed and underfunded while also battling water companies over sewage discharge. Will the Government commit to strengthening the powers of the Office for Environmental Protection, as the Lib Dems tried to do through the passage of the Environment Bill, so that it can hold the Government and other public authorities to account over environmental damage in the same way that the European Commission was able to?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I know what is behind the hon. Member’s question: a desire to return to the jurisdiction of the European Union. We want to ensure that we use our landmark Environment Act 2021 to continue to improve the quality of our rivers, and that is what we are doing.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. We will let the Chamber clear before we start the statement.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 23rd March 2022

(2 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank my right hon. and learned Friend and all those involved in the two big schemes that we have now for welcoming people from Ukraine. The Homes for Ukraine scheme is now open; I think that about 40,000 have already applied and 150,000 families across the country have said that they want to welcome Ukrainians. That is a fantastic thing, and I thank Baldock and District for helping to lead the way.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to the Leader of the Opposition.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank my hon. Friend very much, and he is absolutely right about smoking; it is the biggest single cause of preventable death in this country. As he will know, Javed Khan OBE is undertaking an independent review of smoking, and I am sure he will want to take my hon. Friend’s suggestions into account.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call the leader of the SNP here, Ian Blackford.

--- Later in debate ---
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. We need to use more moderate and temperate language in this Chamber.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I have one overwhelming interest, which is to protect and preserve the jobs and livelihoods of the British people. That is what we are doing. That is what we will do with the P&O workers, but we will also ensure that we continue to attract overseas investment in the record ways we currently are. The Opposition would drive it away—we will not.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 9th March 2022

(2 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. I want to hear the answer. Standing up will not catch my eye; in fact, it has the opposite effect on me.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

What we are junking is the failed energy policies that left us without enough nuclear power, and what we will do is go forward with policies that allow this country to be independent in our energy supply, maximising renewables, making sure that we use transitional hydrocarbons and going for nuclear as well. As I say, I am overjoyed that Labour now seems to occupy that position. What we will also do, and here the right hon. and learned Gentleman has been supportive, is ensure that as a House of Commons we work together to maintain our opposition to Vladimir Putin’s vile war in Ukraine. There, together with the toughest possible economic sanctions and by maintaining our military support for the people of Ukraine, I have no doubt that although there will be dark days ahead and difficult times, we will come through it stronger. I have no doubt that Vladimir Putin will fail and we will succeed in restoring a sovereign and independent Ukraine.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank my hon. Friend. He is a fantastic champion for his constituents in Wantage. As I understand it, the decision on the Abingdon reservoir has not actually been made, but we would expect Thames Water to consult further on the proposal. I know that it will have heard the points that he has rightly made.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to SNP leader Ian Blackford.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank the hon. Lady very much and she raises an important issue. Clearly, the spike in energy prices is going to fall most heavily on vulnerable people such as the ones she mentioned, and we will certainly be looking at ways to abate their costs.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call Paul Holmes.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank the hon. Gentleman. If he would be kind enough, I would be grateful if he passed me the details of the case that he mentioned and I would be happy to give it to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary. We are moving heaven and earth, because we understand the value to this country of refugees. We also understand the imperative of helping people fleeing a war zone in terror. That is why the people of this country want to open their arms, and we are going to help them to do it with a new humanitarian route, in addition to the family reunion route that we have already set out. That family reunion route alone could bring hundreds of thousands of people here. I think the whole House understands that; we will do even more through the new humanitarian route.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

That is the end of Prime Minister’s questions. Please leave quietly.

National Insurance Contributions Increase

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Tuesday 8th March 2022

(2 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I will take points of order from the leaders of the main parties before we return to the Opposition day debate.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister (Boris Johnson)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Never before in all our centuries of parliamentary democracy has the House listened to such an address. In a great European capital, now within range of Russian guns, President Volodymyr Zelensky is standing firm for democracy and for freedom. In his righteous defiance, I believe he has moved the hearts of everybody in this House.

At this moment, ordinary Ukrainians are defending their homes and their families against a brutal assault. They are, by their actions, inspiring millions with their courage and their devotion. Today, one of the proudest boasts in the free world is, “Ya Ukrainets”—I am a Ukrainian.

This is a moment for us to put our political differences aside. I know I speak for the whole House when I say that Britain and our allies are determined to press on—to press on with supplying our Ukrainian friends with the weapons they need to defend their homeland, as they deserve, and to press on with tightening the economic vice around Vladimir Putin. We will stop importing Russian oil, and my right hon. Friend the Business Secretary will update the House on that tomorrow. We will employ every method that we can—diplomatic, humanitarian and economic—until Vladimir Putin has failed in this disastrous venture and Ukraine is free once more.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 2nd March 2022

(2 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Yes, my hon. Friend knows whereof he speaks. He is a great advocate of UK food and farming. That is why we are increasing the farming investment fund to £48 million. We have a massive opportunity, particularly for UK fruit and vegetables.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to the Leader of the SNP.

Ukraine

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Thursday 24th February 2022

(2 years, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank the hon. Lady very much for drawing the case to my attention. If she sends me the details, I would be happy to ensure it is properly taken up by the Home Office.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I just say for those who did not get in that we have a list for next time, because this will definitely not be the end on this topic.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 23rd February 2022

(2 years, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. I call the Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I repeat what I told the hon. Lady ages ago—if I have got her right. I have seen absolutely no evidence of successful Russian interference in any electoral event.

--- Later in debate ---
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I have the utmost respect for the media, and I of course study it as much as I can, but I have to say that the package that the UK has put forward has been leading the world, and there is more to come. [Interruption.] I hear somebody on the Opposition Benches saying that it is weak so far, but it is not—it is strong and it will be very strong. Something that would also be strong would be to take the Whip away from the 14 Labour Members who say that the aggressor in Ukraine is NATO. That would be a strong thing to do.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

That is the end of Prime Minister’s questions.

Living with Covid-19

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Monday 21st February 2022

(2 years, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The right hon. Gentleman is right to draw attention to the need to protect care homes and those who work in care homes. He should wait until March, when we will be setting out in more detail those who will continue to be entitled to free tests.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

The man for the rules—Matt Hancock.

Speaker’s Statement

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 2nd February 2022

(2 years, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to tributes to Jack Dromey.

Jack made his mark long before he came into this House, in particular as a fearless, energetic trade unionist. I remember campaigning him with him in the ’80s and ’90s to save the Royal Ordnance factory in Chorley. He was positive, down to earth, and determined to help working people—characteristics that remained with him throughout his career. I have to say, as somebody who knew Jack and worked with Jack: he was innovative; he was absolutely visionary. We sat down, upon a closure where thousands of jobs were going to go, and Jack said, “We’re in this together; we will stand shoulder to shoulder with the people whose jobs are at risk.” He said, “We’ve got to look beyond what kills people. We can do something different. Let us look for alternatives that save people’s lives.”

The expertise that was in Royal Ordnance Chorley was second to none. Of course we had to fight for the jobs in the first place. It became a choice between Glascoed and Chorley, and Jack said, “With the land values we know where British Aerospace will be.” In the end we came up with real alternatives. We had seen Lockerbie. We had seen the destruction and the loss of life, and in Chorley they designed a cargo that stopped the plane coming down. That was the vision of Jack, who said, “If we can’t save the jobs in making bombs, let us save jobs by finding an alternative to save lives.” So that is my personal experience of Jack Dromey. I knew him on other occasions, but I have to say: he was inspirational to me and he has been inspirational to many others in this House.

Since his election to this House in 2010, he proved to be an exemplary Member of Parliament. He was an assiduous and effective campaigner for his constituents. As a Front Bencher, he was trusted to lead for the party in particularly sensitive areas such as housing, policing, pensions, and, most recently, immigration. While he was a robust Front Bencher, he always demonstrated respect for his opponents and was well like and admired across the House. Nobody could fall out with Jack Dromey.

While we mourn a colleague, it is Jack’s family who will of course feel the loss most deeply. I know the whole House will join me in expressing our condolences to the Mother of the House, the right hon. and learned Member for Camberwell and Peckham (Ms Harman). Harriet, I know that all Members of this House will join me in saying to you and your family that we are so sorry for your loss, and it is a sad loss for this House.

I will now take brief points of order to allow for tributes to an esteemed colleague.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister (Boris Johnson)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. On 7 January, this House suffered the loss of the hon. Member for Birmingham, Erdington, Jack Dromey, and it is right that we should come together now in tribute to his memory. Let me offer my condolences, on behalf of the whole Government, to the Mother of the House, the right hon. and learned Member for Camberwell and Peckham (Ms Harman), and her family.

Although Jack and I may have come from different political traditions, I knew him as a man of great warmth and energy and compassion. I can tell the House that one day—a very hot day—Jack was driving in Greece when he saw a family of British tourists, footsore, bedraggled and sunburned, with the children on the verge of mutiny against their father: an experience I understand. He stopped the car and invited them all in, even though there was barely any room. I will always be grateful for his kindness, because that father was me, and he drove us quite a long way.

Jack had a profound commitment to helping all those around him, and those he served, and he commanded the utmost respect across the House. He will be remembered as one of the great trade unionists of our time—a veteran of the Grunwick picket lines, which he attended with his future wife, where they campaigned alongside the mainly Asian female workforce at the Grunwick film processing laboratory. Having married someone who would go on to become, in his words,

“the outstanding parliamentary feminist of her generation”,

Jack became, again in his words, Mr Harriet Harman née Dromey.

Jack was rightly proud of the achievements of the right hon. and learned Member for Camberwell and Peckham, but we should remember today his own contribution to this House during his 11 years as the Member for Birmingham, Erdington. He was a fantastic local campaigner who always had the next cause, the next campaign, the next issue to solve. I was struck by the moving tribute from his son Joe, who described how Jack was always furiously scribbling his ideas and plans in big letters on lined paper, getting through so much that when Ocado totted up their sales of that particular paper one year, they ranked Jack as their No. 1 customer across the whole of the United Kingdom.

Jack combined that irrepressible work ethic with a pragmatism and spirit of co-operation, which you have just described so well, Mr Speaker. He would work with anyone if it was in the interests of his constituents. As Andy Street, the Conservative Mayor of the West Midlands, remarked:

“He was a great collaborator always able to put party differences aside for the greater good… Birmingham has lost a dedicated servant... And we have all lost a generous, inclusive friend who set a fine example.”

While Jack once said that he was born on the left and would die on the left, I can say that he will be remembered with affection and admiration by people on the right and in the middle, as well as on the left. Our country is all the better for everything he gave in the service of others.

Sue Gray Report

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Boris Johnson
Monday 31st January 2022

(2 years, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I would say, with great respect to my right hon. Friend—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. It is a very important question, and I want to hear the answer, even if other people do not.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

No, that is not what the Gray report says. [Interruption.] It is not what the Gray report says, but I suggest that my right hon. Friend waits to see the conclusion of the inquiry.

--- Later in debate ---
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Right. We will leave it at that.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for withdrawing what he just said, because he was wrong, and I am afraid that he is wrong in his analysis. I apologise, as I have said, for all the suffering that people have had throughout the pandemic and for the anger that people feel about what has taken place in No. 10 Downing Street. But I must tell the right hon. Gentleman that, for much of what he said, his best course is simply to wait for the inquiry to conclude.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Can I just say: I take it that the right hon. Member has withdrawn his remark?

--- Later in debate ---
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Just a moment. In fairness, the Prime Minister asked to make the statement. I am not going to attack the Prime Minister for making the statement, and I certainly would not expect it from his own side.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Thank you, Mr Speaker. I want to say how strongly I agree, none the less, with my hon. Friend, because, yes, of course it is vital that we make this statement, that we learn from Sue Gray’s report and that we take action, which is what the Government are doing, but it is also vital, frankly, that we get on with the people’s priorities. That is what this Government are also doing.

--- Later in debate ---
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. I think the Prime Minister has a grip of what the hon. Gentleman is saying.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

We will deliver on the people’s priorities. We will deliver and keep delivering for Wales.

--- Later in debate ---