Boris Johnson dodges questions on whether he tried to sack Matt Hancock in furious PMQs grilling over affair
BORIS Johnson today dodged questions on whether he'd sacked Matt Hancock on Friday – after The Sun revealed his affair with a government aide.
The PM faced a furious grilling in his first PMQs since the story was revealed last week, with Labour boss Sir Keir Starmer skewering him over refusing to give him the boot.
🔵 Follow our Matt Hancock live blog for the latest updates…
Boris initially stuck by him and said the "matter is now closed" before Mr Hancock threw in the towel and quit on Saturday night.
The PM faced a rough ride over the The Sun's scoop and fallout in the House of Commons today – as he was accused of trying to "sweep this under the carpet".
Sir Keir lashed out at PMQs, saying: "It's the same old story, isn't it it… while the British people are doing everything asked them, it's one rule for them, and another rule for everybody else."
He asked why on earth the PM didn't sack the under-fire Mr Hancock on Friday, when Downing Street insisted the PM had "full confidence" in him.
A flustered Boris tried to hit back, saying: "I read the story with you and everybody else on Friday, and we had a new Health Secretary in place by Saturday… I think that speed was fast."
He was asked directly whether he'd "asked the Health Secretary, at any point, to resign, yes or no".
However, the PM dodged answering and instead quipped back that he "spent three days trying and failing to sack his deputy leader!"
Sir Keir raised the heart-breaking case of Ollie Bibby, 27, who died of leukaemia in hospital on 5 May, a day before Mr Hancock was filmed kissing his colleague, which led to him quitting.
Mum Penny said she was "livid" at the former Health Secretary for breaking social distancing rules and revealed they were barely able to visit before he died.
She said he felt like he was "in prison" and "begged" to be allowed to see family but Covid restrictions meant they weren't allowed much contact.
Dad Simon said: "I'm disgusted – for that man to be carrying on like that, and us following the rules.
"We feel cheated out of the last six weeks of his life."
Penny added: "I'm livid. We did everything we were told to do and the man that made the rules didn't. How can that be right?"
Sir Keir was fuming with the PM who dismissed the row as a "Westminster bubble" story.
He raged: "It's no questions asked by the Prime Minister on Friday and no questions answered today.
"There's a pattern here. When Dominic Cummings broke the rules by driving to Barnard Castle, the Prime Minister backed him. When the Housing Secretary unlawfully approved a billion pound property deal for a Tory donor, the Prime Minister backed him.
"When the Home Secretary broke the ministerial code, the Prime Minister backed her. And when the Health Secretary broke Covid rules, the Prime Minister tried and wanted to back him too."
Sir Keir said it was "not appropriate" to say it was just a bubble story.
He hit back: "This morning I spoke to Ollie's mum about the awful circumstances she and her family have been through.
"She told me Prime Minister that every day she watched the press conferences and she hung onto every word that Government ministers said so she would know what her family could and couldn't do, and then they followed the rules. This is not the Westminster bubble.
"She told me that for her and her family this case isn't closed and she speaks for millions of people. I ask the Prime Minister to withdraw that when he gets up, it's the wrong response to Ollie's case.
"I can't help concluding that the Prime Minister didn't ask relevant questions on Friday morning either because he didn't want to know the answers or he knows full well there's more to come out."
Source: Read Full Article