James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Boris Johnson criticised for pulling out of committee meeting blaming 'Brexit'
23 October 2019, 21:15
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.”
Appalling that the PM is refusing to answer detailed questions from select committee chairs on behalf of the public, cancelling again at very short notice rather than face scrutiny pic.twitter.com/3y9XjAzhjG— Sarah Wollaston MP (@sarahwollaston) October 23, 2019
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."