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Therese Coffey has said that the public has “every confidence” in Boris Johnson as Prime Minister despite claims from Labour that he lied in the Commons.
Last week Labour MP Dawn Butler was asked to leave Parliament after she said that Johnson had “lied to the House and the country over and over again” — a breach of the Chamber’s rules.
On Tuesday, shadow minister Andy McDonald also accused the PM of being a liar, pointing to a viral video by left-wing social media influencer Peter Stefanovic which set out times Johnson had reportedly lied at the despatch box.
But, speaking to Sky News on Wednesday, Coffey dismissed the claims, saying she was “quite saddened” by the discourse.
“A lot of this is done to drive small clips on social media. We work in the House of Commons — the chamber is a place where often we come together mainly about issues on which we disagree to discuss legislation,” the work and pensions secretary said.
“I know the Prime Minister has led from the front in tackling Covid. He’s been leading from the front on the Disability Strategy.
She continued: “I have every confidence in him and frankly, so do the British people.
“They showed that when they got the election results in 2019. I’m afraid the Opposition, Labour can’t get over it.”
Pushed on whether she believed the PM had lied, she added: “All I will say is the British people backed Boris to be Prime Minister.
“He’s doing a great job. And frankly all this trivia that’s generated by people just trying to get media clips I’m afraid doesn’t work.
“We’re in a grown up situation. He’s leading the country, and I’m very proud he’s my Prime Minister.”
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner, however, stood by the comments by her colleagues, and said it was “absolutely right” for Butler to accuse Johnson of lying.
“It’s absolutely ludicrous if someone has lied, especially the Prime Minister of this country, that you can’t call that out in Parliament. It’s our archaic way of doing things in Parliament.”
“If somebody’s lied, I think you should be able to — if you can back that up and show that person has lied, then we should be able to say that in Parliament.”
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