Henry Riley 4am - 7am
It's 'absolutely irrefutable' PM misled Commons, SNP's Ian Blackford tells LBC
31 January 2022, 18:50 | Updated: 31 January 2022, 19:13
It's 'absolutely irrefutable' Boris Johnson misled Commons, SNP's Ian Blackford tells LBC
It's 'absolutely irrefutable' that Boris Johnson has misled the House of Commons and that the Prime Minister, SNP MP Ian Blackford has said.
The SNP Westminster leader's spoke to LBC's Eddie Mair after he was earlier today thrown out of the House of Commons for refusing to retract his claim that Boris Johnson "misled the House" in the wake of Sue Gray's report.
Mr Blackford also, while speaking in the Commons, branded Sue Gray's report a "farce" with "no facts".
It comes after Sue Gray's partygate report, a stripped-down document after the Met asked for "minimal references" to gatherings it is investigating, was published on Monday afternoon.
The report stated: "Against the backdrop of the pandemic, when the Government was asking citizens to accept far-reaching restrictions on their lives, some of the behaviour surrounding these gatherings is difficult to justify.
"At least some of the gatherings in question represent a serious failure to observe not just the high standards expected of those working at the heart of Government but also of the standards expected of the entire British population at the time.
"At times it seems there was too little thought given to what was happening across the country in considering the appropriateness of some of these gatherings, the risks they presented to public health and how they might appear to the public.
"There were failures of leadership and judgment by different parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office at different times. Some of the events should not have been allowed to take place. Other events should not have been allowed to develop as they did."
Boris Johnson apologised to the Commons and said: "I get it and I will fix it."
After Ian Blackford was thrown out of the Commons, LBC's Eddie Mair said to him that he'd been "offered the opportunity by the Speaker to temper [his] remarks", and then asked the SNP MP: "Why didn't you?"
In response, Mr Blackford said: "Well, for the very simple reason [that] if I had withdrawn the remark about Boris Johnson having misled the House of Commons then I would have done the very thing that I've accused the Prime Minister of doing and that would have been lying.
"[This is] because it's absolutely irrefutable that this man has misled the House of Commons.
"It's irrefutable as a consequence of that that the only the action that should be open to him is resignation."
Speaking of Mr Johnson, Mr Blackford also told LBC: "This is a man in my opinion - and I think in the opinion of many - many people, that is no longer fit for office."
"And on the back of the Sue Gray report today...he ultimately should have gone. And I'm glad that Andrew Mitchell has stood up as a Tory MP and called for him to do the decent thing.
"He has demeaned the office of Prime Minister."