‘Isn’t going to win this one!’ Hoyle gives scathing verdict on Boris missing sleaze debate

Boris Johnson: Lindsay Hoyle discusses sleaze debate

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Sir Lindsay Hoyle gave an interview before the emergency debate in the House of Commons where he said he did not want another “dark week” for Parliament following the Tory sleaze scandal. Sir Lindsay explained the debate would be “painful” but was required if the public were ever to regain confidence in the political process. But when asked if the Prime Minister should attend the debate, the Speaker explained he was “damned” either way and would not win on the issue regardless of what he does.

Speaking to Sky News, Sir Lindsay was asked whether Mr Johnson should be present at the House of Commons debate.

He told the broadcaster: “People will make their own minds up where they need to be.

“The Prime Minister… if he comes, he’ll be damned if he doesn’t come he’ll be damned.

“He isn’t going to win on this one.

“This is about Parliament and this is about us having that debate, and in fairness, I don’t think he will be the only leader that is not here today.” 

Last week, Kathyrn Stone, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, called for a Commons ban of 30 sitting days for Owen Paterson.

The standards body found Mr Paterson lobbied on behalf of two companies that paid him more than £100,000 per year.

Mr Paterson tried to appeal against the decision but the decision was sent to the House of Commons to vote on his suspension.

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However, an amendment put forward by Andrea Leadsom tried to introduce a Conservative-led committee that would review the decision and suggest whether a new standards system is needed.

The committee would be made up of cross-party MPs but the ultimate decision on Mr Paterson’s suspension would fall to Tory minister John Whittingdale.

Conservative whips told backbenchers to vote for the amendment with it narrowly passing 250 to 232 votes.

Many abstained or voted against the amendment as opposition benches were furious at the decision and vowed to boycott the committee.

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The Government then U-turned on the decision following mass outcry with Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg telling the House there will now be cross-party talks on reform rather than Mr Paterson’s specific case.

Mr Paterson resigned on Thursday rather than face a 30-day suspension when the vote went through the Commons again.

MPs held an emergency debate in the Commons about MPs’ standards.

It also comes as the Conservative Party has been mired in sleaze accusations following the “Wallpapergate” reports and former Prime Minister David Cameron’s lobbying for Greensill Capital.

Former No10 advisor Dominic Cummings claimed the Prime Minister called on Tory donors to fund renovations at Downing Street following claims the work cost much more than the initial £58,000 quoted price.

It was also revealed Mr Cameron had contacted government ministers to see if the company he was working for in 2020, Greensill Capital, could be put on a government-backed loan scheme.

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