Conduct of the Right Hon. Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip
Published date : 30 November, 2021
I would like to say what a pleasure it has been to listen to the single transferable Whip’s speech that seems to have passed from one end of the Tory Benches to the other, but I am comparatively early in my parliamentary career and I have no wish to be hauled up for misleading the House.
Plenty of criticism can be made of policy, but the bit that everyone on the Government Benches, from the Minister to the Back Benchers, seems to have completely missed is that this debate is about the probity and suitability of the current occupant of No. 10 Downing Street to be there and to continue carrying out his duties as Prime Minister.
When I first started taking an interest in politics, I was a student during the tail-end of John Major’s time in Downing Street. There were scandals aplenty then,
like now, from the petty and the embarrassing through to the corruption of cash for questions and the outright duplicity of the arms to Iraq affair. It was hard to imagine that the UK might ever again be led by a Government so chaotic, so lacking in scruple, so willing to bend the truth and so willing to hawk themselves around the broadcasting studios to assert that forwards is backwards and black is white, yet here we are. Although we can all no doubt highlight points along that trajectory where things really started heading for the ground, I do not think any reasonable person could dispute that the present holder of the office of Prime Minister has taken us to this nadir of public trust in Government and politics.
It is all part of a pattern of behaviour. If you want a photo opportunity in a hospital but can’t be bothered to wear a mask, just ignore the instruction to wear one. If you don’t like the Electoral Commission investigating who funds your party, your takeaways or your flat renovations, emasculate the Electoral Commission. You don’t like the fact that people without ready access to ID tend not to vote for your party—try to introduce voter ID. You don’t like the fact that voters in devolved nations don’t elect enough representatives of your party to have any influence—try to bypass devolution. You accidentally create a border in the Irish sea—just pretend it does not exist and tell people that black is white.
This Government clearly think the rules do not apply to them; it is one rule for the Government and another rule for everybody else. It comes from the top, led by a Prime Minister who clearly does not think that there are any rules at all or that if there are, they should not apply to him.
I thank my hon. Friend for that intervention, and she says it very eloquently and succinctly. We have a crisis of confidence in this country. We have a crisis of confidence in the Prime Minister, who is clearly not fit for the job with which he has been entrusted. This is being aided and abetted by the silence and complicity of far too many Conservative Members, and I cannot wait to see which Lobby the Scottish Conservative contingent, in particular, chooses to go through this evening.
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