Boris Johnson criticised for pulling out of committee meeting blaming 'Brexit'

23 October 2019, 21:15

The Prime Minister has been criticised after he announced he would not attend the meeting
The Prime Minister has been criticised after he announced he would not attend the meeting. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Boris Johnson has cancelled a meeting with a group of MPs on Thursday saying he needs to focus on "delivering Brexit."

The Prime Minister was due to appear before the Commons Liaison Committee of senior MPs at Westminster.

In a statement by the committee, the chairwoman Sarah Wollaston expressed her "astonishment" at Mr Johnson's decision to cancel at such short notice, having already pulled out twice before.

In a letter to Mr Johnson, the chairwoman said it was "unaccaptable" the Prime Minister was "refusing to be held to account."

SNP MP Pete Wishart, who is a member of the Committee, said: “Boris Johnson’s decision at the 11th hour to pull out of his scheduled appearance at the Liaison Committee is yet another cowardly attempt at ducking and diving scrutiny.

“Rather than having the confidence and guts to come before MPs to be held to account over his government's plans, he has yet again retreated to the bunker.

"He has lost all authority and credibility - and the longer he clings on to office the greater the threat to our economy, jobs and people’s livelihoods.”

Raising a point of order in the Commons, Ms Wollaston sought guidance from the deputy speaker about the Prime Minister pulling out of his appearance before the Liasion Committee for the third time.

Responding, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, said: "Three times is very difficult and quite rightly you have to hold all officers, and even the Prime Minister to account, I recognise that.

"What I would say is I do also recognise it's very difficult times at the moment and I would hope that it has been listened to by the frontbench here."