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New Questions about Boris Johnson's Future; Ukraine: Our Troops are Putting up Fierce Resistance; PM: "When there are serious international issues governments with a mandate should get on with it"; Boris Johnson says truth is "Very Important" to him; More 30 Members of Government have resigned in Protest over PM's Leadership; British PM Faces Committee Amid Wave of Resignations. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired July 06, 2022 - 11:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Welcome back to "Connect the World". I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi, and we continue with our top story

the political crisis unfolding in the UK. Over the next hour, we'll be bringing you coverage from our team on the ground.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CO-HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: And I'm Bianca Nobilo in London, where we are following developments another day of drama in British

politics. The Prime Minister here says that he's staying put despite an ever shrinking government that is in crisis. His cabinet has been

hemorrhaging ministers in the past day and still now over the last hour or so.

And as Conservative MPs jumped ship, speculation is growing, that that ship is about to sink just a month after surviving a confidence vote. Boris

Johnson is again refusing calls to resign.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Thank you Mr. Speaker. The job of a Prime Minister in difficult circumstances, when he's been handed a colossal

mandate is to keep going and that's what I'm going to do.


NOBILO: The latest crisis triggered by Mr. Johnson's handling of sexual misconduct claims against his ex-deputy chief whip. Now Former Health

Secretary told parliament that was the last straw.


SAJID JAVID, FORMER BRITISH HEALTH SECRETARY: We have the gray report, a new Downing Street. I continued to give the benefit of the doubt. And now

this week again, we have reason to question the truth and integrity of what we've all been told. And at some point, we have to conclude that enough is

enough. I believe that point is now.


NOBILO: Sajid Javid was among the first to leave and now 31 others have followed suit. The Tories have been rocked by a series of lurid scandals in

recent months. David Wolverton was suspended from the party over claims of sexual harassment and cocaine use.

Imran Ahmed can't leave up he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenage boy Neil Parrish admitted watching pornography in the House of

Commons. And of course last week, Chris Pincher resigned as Deputy Chief Whip over claims that he groped two men while he was drunk.

Mr. Johnson is left with a dwindling number of loyalists. Here's a look at his current inner circle. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Deputy Prime

Minister Dominic Raab and Home Secretary Priti Patel are all still in their jobs. And there's now the addition of Nadhim Zahawi as Finance Minister,

also somebody spoken about here in Westminster as a possible leadership contender.

Now CNN's Nic Robertson is watching this for us from Downing Street. But Boris Johnson is still resides, at least for the time being. Nic, take us

through the events that we're expecting for the rest of today and why they could be pivotal and potentially end Boris Johnson's time in that building

behind you?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, after he goes through speaking to the select committee, he's likely to return back here

and quite possibly then face more calls for his resignation or guidance from trusted valued cabinet members, who now see the sort of the end of the

road for him and the end of the road of his premiership coming here to Downing Street to suggest to him that this is the moment where he really

needs to step aside and let the party move forward.

There's that - that could come in different forms. It could come in the context of representation coming from the 1922 Committee, who actually

don't have a mandate to call for a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister, because they did that not so long ago, and they have to wait 12

months before they can do that again.

But there is has been such a stream of resignations, that there's a sense of momentum that it could come to that. But I think what we heard during

Prime Minister's question time today from the Leader of the Opposition was to really call on those members of Boris Johnson's party to think of the

character of the Prime Minister to think of what he has allowed to pass under the party's name to call essentially to the morality of the remaining

conservatives who haven't told the Prime Minister how they feel?

And that he should step aside and in reference to the sexual allegations that have just resurfaced. This is what Kier Starmer, Leader of the

Opposition told Boris Johnson


KEIR STARMER, BRITISH LABOR PARTY LEADER: The only thing that is delivering is chaos I started this session with a quote from the young victim in all



STARMER: How he froze when he was attacked? When I was prosecuting rapists, I heard that from victims all the time. Victims said they froze because

it's not about sex. It's about power.


ROBERTSON: That was really getting to the character of the Prime Minister, rather than how he has sort of described his memory lapses, his

recollections, his failing to make the right decision, getting at the character of the Prime Minister and saying to his fellow conservatives,

this is not the man who can lead you.

So can they now come out of that additional momentum, and additional visitations of senior trusted Cabinet members to Boris Johnson this

afternoon? That would be one way that the Prime Minister might feel that increasing level of pressure but looking at him in that select committee

early on, he did seem to find his feet after the first couple of questions.

NOBILO: Nic Robertson for us at Downing Street thank you. Joining us now is Mark Shanahan, an Associate Professor of Politics and International

Relations at the University of Reading and he's live for us from Oxford. Thanks for joining the program, sir.

I'd like to start by asking you about the performance today of the Prime Minister and Prime Minister's questions. It was stunningly brazen, given

the circumstances. He seemed completely alone without the support of those behind him, and obviously with fierce opposition and many blows landed from

the benches opposite.

Explain to our international viewers why the fact that Prime Minister remains in post after so many scandals and resigning matters for any other

Prime Minister, why that is so unprecedented in this country?


everything seems to deflect from him or bounce off him and he bounces back. He's been able to do so, so far, because he has an 80 seats, majority in

parliament, very, very slowly been whittled away by losing elections by elections as they happen around here.

But he still commands a massive parliamentary majority. He doesn't act like normal politicians. He doesn't follow the norms and conventions of

politics. He's rather entitled in his view of what he believes politics is about.

And certainly for the last six months, he has been operating in a way that is all about keeping Boris Johnson in 10 Downing Street rather than perhaps

necessarily pulling together the kind of policy and launching the kind of policy that's particularly good for the country now.

He has no shame. And that's what we're seeing. We saw a fairly sanctimonious Boris Johnson at Prime Minister's questions today, one that

was deflecting and trying to go on to the attack, and certainly not listening to the opposition, or even his own three MPs who stood up in

parliament in Prime Minister's questions and told him to go.

NOBILO: And Mark, what are the consequences of Boris Johnson ignoring those norms, as you just said, and not behaving in a way that we would expect

from any traditional politician? How has that had an impact on the relationship between the public and the building behind me parliament and

also these centuries' old traditions that are quite delicate and sometimes un-codified, in the British system?

SHANAHAN: Absolutely. We don't have a written constitution. And largely, our politics works because of the relations between politicians and

parties. The relationship that they've built with voters and precedent that we've had in the past, now Boris Johnson has trodden all over precedent, no

prime minister who has done what he's done, or even what he has failed to do, would have got away with it in the past.

He's trashing the reputation of Parliament's absolutely whether it be at home, where he's lost the confidence of his own party. And the country

believes in him a lot less he was elected frankly, because he was a bit of fun. He got us through a very dull and turgid period around Brexit, because

he said he could get things done.

He could get Brexit done. He's a slogan icing Prime Minister, a great campaigner good at elections, but actually turns out to be a lot less good

at governing. And he's somebody who likes the job title doesn't actually like the detail of the job.

And the longer that goes on, the more the reputation of Parliament's the more the reputation of government is tarnished. And that tarnishing is now

spreading well beyond the United Kingdom and is going around the world it will have an impact economically the power under this falling business

confidence is lost and this is a very dangerous time for the country.


NOBILO: And Mark, what do you think explains the Prime Minister's willingness and determination to stay in that role amidst all of this

opposition, resignations and pressure on him to leave? Is it the fact that he either is being an ostrich or ignoring the public mood and all of the

pressure on him? Or does he have such self-belief that he thinks there's something different about him that means that he can weather this when no

one else could.

SHANAHAN: He has a lifetime of never having been held to account, never having seriously been challenged and always being able to wing it and find

a way to get things done. So a little bit like Trump, there is a parallel there. He is just not accustomed to failure.

He believes he can see this through he believes that Keir Starmer, the opposition leader might get a fine from the police over the next couple of

days. And that will take the pressure off Boris Johnson, if he can keep going day by day, almost hour by hour at the moment and creep through to

the summer recess.

He thinks the pressure might dissipate. But he's quite tin eared. I really do think the rest of the party, the rest of the countries think it's time

to go. But he's never ever had to deal with that kind of message before.

NOBILO: Mark Shanahan, thank you so much for joining us today. And as Mark was explained, there's so much more at stake here than simply the Prime

Minister's position the Conservative Party, it goes much deeper and it is about British democracy and trust in politicians. So do stay with us. Eleni

Giokos is back in Abu Dhabi, with more "Connect the World" right after this.


GIOKOS: Welcome back I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi while Britain's Prime Minister faces new struggles in Parliament. He continues to receive strong

support from a notable world leader. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Boris Johnson for increasing security assistance for


President Zelenskyy is also calling on Western allies to offer modern air defense systems. His voicing increased urgency after Russia hit targets in

Western Ukraine. Now the Ukrainian Military Chief of the Luhansk region of the Donbas is also calling for more weapons.

He says Ukrainian troops are putting up fierce resistance as Russian forces advance to Luhansk into the Donetsk region of the Donbas. Russian shells

hit Slavyansk which appears to be bracing for the next big battle. Alex Marquardt is connecting us from Chernihiv today in Eastern Ukraine.


GIOKOS: Alex, I mean, you can see the sense of urgency when the big messages that people need to evacuate, and also the call being reiterated

for more weaponry, could you give us some insights into what we're looking at on the front lines?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes Eleni, there really is a sense of urgency a growing sense of concern about what Russia may do next? Russia

has of course taken over almost the entire Luhansk region in Eastern Ukraine in Donbas really solidifying their gains there.

The expectation is now that they're going to turn to other areas of Eastern Ukraine, and renew their efforts to push into Kharkiv. I'm just on the

outskirts of the City of Kharkiv in the Kharkiv region from here Ukrainian troops had managed to push back the Russian forces almost to the Russian


They are expected to renew, try to renew their advanced towards Kharkiv at some point soon, and then farther to the south of us, right next to Luhansk

in the other region of the Donbas Donetsk, we are hearing those calls from Ukrainian officials, to citizens there to evaluate--

GIOKOS: Alex, I'm sorry, we have to interrupt you. We're going to take our viewers now live to London, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing

questions by the committee, let's listen in.

JOHNSON: --talking to a witness and removing the whip from the membrane in question? That's what--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't come to--

JOHNSON: What we should have done at the same time - I then I left the building. But what we should have done is gone over all the interactions

between government, me and the members of Tamworth and got a flooring timeline, and we didn't--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's in retrospect.

JOHNSON: And I should have done that. But as a result, some things were said that weren't right when, as soon as I was aware of the discrepancy we


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you just hold about?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, what we do know is that on the fifth of July, Lord MacDonald and Salford, who was the Secretary, or the Secretary for the

Foreign Office said this, the line that had been pulled out was not accurate.

This in a letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner - Mr. Johnson was briefed in person about the initiation and outcome of the investigation.

There was a formal complaint into - I'm sure you've seen those letter--


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you accept the contents of the--

JOHNSON: Yes. And so that's, that's entirely correct.


JOHNSON: --everything he says but - I can certainly tell you is that I didn't have it before me. And what I can certainly tell you is that there

was a complaint.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you're talking about--

JOHNSON: --Tamworth in 2019?


JOHNSON: And that that complaint was upheld. The matter was resolved within the foreign office. It was not deemed to approach the level of criminality

or minute or the ministerial code. But I was briefed on it in a - on two occasions by the propriety and ethics, people who thought that it was


And then and on both occasions - what I had was an extremely short or account of I just it was on Friday, there was no record of that in number

10. There's no written record of that forget, forget

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forgive me. It's just common for a serving minister of the Crown to be subjected to an allegation of sexual impropriety, is it?

JOHNSON: I don't want to go into the details of the allegations, because I think there are human rights issues. I'm not certain that's a fair

characterization of what happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But all of it, it was a serious matter. And this was someone who had worked closely on your leadership team only a few months

before - where it was sensitive.

JOHNSON: That's--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a fair one, I get.

JOHNSON: It was also it was also to be fair, almost two and half years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it's not the sort of thing you forget, is it Prime Minister?

JOHNSON: Well, as I say, now, that when it - when I - when it was drawn to my attention, a couple of days later that there was a discrepancy between

what we were saying abroad, is it worth or what number 10 would say? And the fact that this free thing had taken place? I took steps to clear it up

as soon as--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The suggestion that you couldn't recall that was said on your behalf is a serious - explanation recall - its unusual instance of

someone who has a close political ally?


JOHNSON: That what we failed to do on the first day was to go over all the possible interactions between me and the member in question all the

possible decisions that I might have taken, as it happened, the issue - the report about the complaint was not raised to me as a point for any kind of


It was simply something that was mentioned to be in the margin of other meetings as appointed. As I recall, it was a point of information about

what had happened, because it was the Foreign Office that dealt with.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: But Prime Minister when you were considering appointing him into the government most recently? How true is it that actually wanted

him to be chief whip?

JOHNSON: Not to my recollection, is about it. I don't - I don't think so. I think the suggestion was that he was going to be Deputy Chief Whip.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what happened to all the messages pouring into Downing Street, about the risk of appointing this person, but the venting

of them?

JOHNSON: Well, I didn't know about how many there were, but there was certainly--

UNIDENTIFED MALE: Why could - I mean, there's a cultural problem here. Why couldn't the system hear that there was concern about this appointment?

JOHNSON: I don't think that's entirely fair.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: Why did you refer if - you're talking about ethics and proprietary directory in the cabinet office? Why was that necessary if that

wasn't the case?

JOHNSON: OK, every ministerial appointment automatically goes to the propriety and ethics team. So they look at everyone.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good afternoon, Prime Minister.

JOHNSON: Good afternoon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I appreciate that today's the day of events. And though this meeting has not quite resembled a Moscow show trial, because I think

certainly they were likely, it must be nonetheless quite difficult. And I do pay tribute to for turning up today

JOHNSON: I wouldn't dream of being anywhere else.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Having said that--

JOHNSON: I delighted to be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Having said that at which point does it become impossible for the Queen's government to be continued?

JOHNSON: I really think that you know that you're underestimating the talent, energy and sheer ambition of members of parliament, and they want

to get things done for their constituents, and the government of the country is being carried on with ever increasing energy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they seem just wanting to get one thing done at the moment in time. I agree with you on that. But I think the issue that we

have is that we've had, at least at the my initial calculation, the staffs the meeting was 27 ministers and those resigning, they've been more in the

meantime, do you think there are swelling ranks of those young thrusters on the back benches and could replace them?

JOHNSON: I think it highly likely yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ambition, because it's considered delusion at times?

JOHNSON: And that's a sort of moral judgment about human nature. You know, I wouldn't venture to comment, I think that we maybe - we're all deluded in

our ambitions. But I think most people who come to this place actually, in spite of what everybody says about MPs are actuated by the highest motives.

Most people want to serve their constituents and get stuff done. And that is the reality.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Entirely sir. So in terms of the assessment of individuals, which qualities in the Former Deputy Chief Whip appealed to

you most?

JOHNSON: I think it was. So let me give big picture.


JOHNSON: As I've said before - let me think - let me be clear that I - with a bit of hindsight, I can see that that appointment, as I said in the

house, and I think I said on TV as well, I think that appointment was a mistake, but it was monitored for finished.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the policy of ministry in our government appointments based upon ability|?

JOHNSON: So it was put to me that like everyone we appoint the member had excellent administrative skills.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Administrative skills that were it behind what's colloquially known as operations save big doc?

JOHNSON: To the best of my memory he was in addition to serving as Deputy Chief Whip under the previous Prime Minister. He was - he did a stint at

the Foreign Office and then a stint at the Department of Community and Government when he was in - he had a role in housing and the accounts I

had, were positive.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Casting our minds about as of January and February, it was a tricky time. And certainly some people in the shadow whipping

operation use their charm in order to persuade, I think it's fair to say it was used aspects of - we might describe as being offensive to work that

wonder for you.

So why was Mr. Pincher, the first of all invited into Downing Street on the day of the reshuffle, when the most senior job available was at

achievement. Ordinarily, it would be awarded to first --?

JOHNSON: OK, that's getting up and going back to - I think that's a red herring. There were those.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did any colleagues come to you on that day and expressed concerns about that appointment or potential?

JOHNSON: Not. Not to me, but concerns what happened was that concerns were expressed, actually, after I made the appointment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What - four hours before the appointment was made?

JOHNSON: For that reason, I made the appointment. And then when they got on with making other appointments, but there was a problem that needed to be

resolved. I think that I probably ought to, given that this--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there investigating him Prime Minister, they're not investigating you?

JOHNSON: I don't want to offer any more commentary than mine - might not be correct about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, come on. It's quite--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --Straightforward questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your judgment and how you approach appointing ministers?

JOHNSON: Yes. So let me be clear. I made the appointment, there was that I didn't go on with making other appointments. There was no delay while the

matter was cleared up. In announcing the appointment, I was told that it had been cleared up and--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What needed to be cleared up?

JOHNSON: It was a matter concerning another colleague, and I really don't want to - I would not be writing it again too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know that it wouldn't be right, because what happened to that colleague wasn't right at all, was it?

JOHNSON: Well, I wasn't informed of that at the time. But I have been subsequently informed about it. I can see that, you know, it's another

reason not to have done, you know, not to abandon that minister, if it was true, or not have had that minister in place but on the other hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it was true, do you believe that colleague who came to you or made overtures from the paternal - Mr. Pincher?

JOHNSON: I think that these things have to be examined. I'm not going to make a comment about that. But what I think what happened was that my team

interviewed both people and resolves the matter. And that's why we proceeded as we did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you familiar with the lessons principles?

JOHNSON: I knew you were going to ask this and I can't move on.


JOHNSON: I know this is about Tommy. Yes, yes. Go on, remind me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So if you were to go to her Majesty, and request as it is a request, not to advise a request or dissolution of parliament, could

you give me two conditions under which her Majesty will be justified and declined?

JOHNON: So you're asking about something that is not going to happen? Unless everybody's so crazy as to try it out have a new - we are going to -

get on I want to have.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prime Minister who said it's not going to happen unless, unless?

JOHNSON: Well I think that the history teaches us that the best way to have a period of stability and government and not to have early elections is to

allow people with mandates to get on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unless what? Unless what?

JOHNSON: That's what I'm saying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said unless what?

JOHNSON: It's so unless people ignore that very good principle that teaches history teaches us that the best way to avoid pointless political

disturbance is to allow the government has a mandate to get on and deliver its mandate.


JOHNSON: That is what we're going to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think what you're alluding--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I'm sorry, Mr. Greg, just a minute. The Prime Minister--

JOHNSON: Unless and less people forget that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what does that mean?

JOHNSON: That means - I think that it's a good thing. If governments which had a substantial mandate from the electorate and are doing an enormous

amount of stuff, and when that country is facing a lot of pressure putting economic pressure when there are serious international issues at stake.


JOHNSON: I think on the whole, it is sensible not to get bogged down in discussion about electoral politics, but to allow the government of the

country to--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I just remind you that when the Prime Minister Major seemed to be threatening a general election because he was having trouble

with the Maastricht bill, it did his no reputation any good at all? It would never have been a general election.

JOHNSON: OK. OK. Thank you for that excellent historical lesson. It is exactly the point I'm trying to make.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I don't know why you're sitting less.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir. And so if one of the conditions of the sales principles is that the sovereign could rely on finding another prime

minister, who could govern for a reasonable period with a working majority of the House of Commons, you accept that principle?

JOHNSON: I think the all of this is - I want to agree passionately and strongly with what Sir Bernard has said. If you go back to 90's, that you

don't solve problems by threatening to call elections, you've got to get on with what you're elected to do. And that's what the government is done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I'm taking you accept that that sort of principles.

JOHNSON: They sound insofar as they're designed to prevent pointless Wildcat elections, they sign this nonsensical can made.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Senator. Welcome, Prime Minister. Have you - have you been told of any other allegations similar to the conduct of Mr.

Pincher about any other ministers in your time as prime minister?

JOHNSON: I'm going to have to tell you, Chris that it is - it is all too possible that people have said things to me about any number of people.

Have you including possibly people run this costume?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever heard--

JOHNSON: I wouldn't cry - I would be - it'd be a great labor for me now to sit down and try to reconstruct every single piece of gossip or innuendo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not what I'm asking. I'm not asking about gossip and innuendo. I'm asking precisely about that you now accept that you were

told on two occasions about Mr. Pincher the allegations against Mr. Pincher that were upheld? I'm asking you. Have you been told about any other such

events relating to any other Government Minister formally?

JOHNSON: Look, I'd have to get back to you. I mean, I would not want to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems extraordinary. But I wouldn't know whether there are allegations outstanding against your government ministers of

sexual impropriety such that they might constitute potentially criminal offenses apart for anything else.

JOHNSON: Look, I did nothing that springs to mind. OK.


JOHNSONG: I'm going to - I'm going to - if there's - if you will say, Chris, if you have some information.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no I'm asking you Prime Minister. I'm asking you this because it seems incredible to me that you would not remember that

you've been told this about somebody who is one of your closest allies in Parliament.

JOHNSON: I think I've tried to explain exactly the circumstances--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you haven't. But let ask you a different question. And because you've not answered this elsewhere, did you say all the sex

bests are supporting me or words to that effect that?

JOHNSON: People attribute all sorts of things to me. I don't remember saying those words. But people ascribe all sorts of things to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That sounds like a yes to me. OK. Did you say he's a bit pansy?

JOHNSON: It's not a word I use actually.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So that's a definite no?

JOHNSON: I would not have used that word, but--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a definite no is it?

JOHNSON: Look, I'm saying - people, maybe hear me say all sorts of things I don't write not pansies, as it happens is not a word I use but.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, did you say Pincher by name Pincher by nature.

JOHNSON: I'm not going to get into some trivializing discussion of what I may or may not have said this is a serious matter.


JOHNSON: The member is now being has had - I believe that a complaint made against him. And that is, and that is where I proposed to leave it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, but the point is, that--


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you just let me for a moment, the point is that the allegation is that you have trivialized this issue. You've not even

remembered it, perhaps because he's a useful ally. And the point is that then you appointed somebody who you believed to be a sex pest in a position

of power and authority over other people in Parliament.

JOHNSON: So that's not right. Because the - say the - under any view, the issue at the Foreign Office was all that was upheld. It was in a way that

was satisfactory--


JOHNSON: It was resolved in a way that's satisfactory to all parties and I would you know there are there are issues that I can't characterize - I'm

probably confident that it was a sexual level. There was - sexual--


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. McDonald makes very Lord McDonald. Sorry, it makes it very clear that it was very similar to the allegations of what happened?

JOHNSON: The problem is--


JOHNSON: I was given on the occasions when I was it was mentioned to me I was given very brief, very sketchy account.


JOHNSON: I really think that--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just seems incredible that you wouldn't think that hat was a matter worth investigating or talking. Can I ask you?

JOHNSON: But it was investigated and it was--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And is upheld. Was your right to resign from parliament?

JOHNSON: Well, I think that the problem he had--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was he right to resign?

JOHNSON: It was his decision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was the right to resign?

JOHNSON: I think that he was doing something that is not normal or tolerated in most workplaces.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So should Chris Pincher resign from parliament?

JOHNSON: Well, what I - you asked about my relationship with. I took the whip away from him,

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should he resign from parliament?

JOHNSON: That's, a matter of.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you think you should stay?

JOHNSON: Well, that's a matter for you. But I took that he no longer sits as a conservative MP.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Was it right for - to ask the man who was groped in the carton club, whether he was gay, and to say that it was

problematic that he was?

JOHNSON: You're asking me about you know, what other members are alleged to have said I can't be--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are five other including people in this room. There are five other MPs who witnessed it. It's not in any doubt. And I

don't think she has denied it. Was it right? Or is it not victim shaming?

JOHNSON: Let me put it this way. I think that what happened was extremely serious. And as soon as I knew that a complaint had been made and I talked

to a witness, and I removed the whip.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And did you talk - about it?

JOHNSON: I haven't talked to her about that. But I moved the whip immediately.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you not understand why this is problematic? Because it means that being gay for some reason or other makes you sort of asking

for it.

JOHNSON: Chris look, I see what you're putting it like that? I don't know whether I'd be very I very much doubt - that way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said yesterday about Chris Pincher if I had my time again, this is a bit of Captain Hindsight, if you don't mind me saying. But

if I had my time again--

JOHNSON: Think about who he is--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, as you. And if I had my time again, I would think back on it and recognize he wasn't going to learn any lessons. And he

wasn't going to change. But that's true about you, isn't it? You're not going to learn any lessons and you're not going to change. You're not

capable of changing. We'll be doing this again, time and time again if you stay in post won't you?

JOHNSON: Come to this committee, I will. Yes, I hope very much to be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prime Minister, he's not asking that question.

JOHNSON: Well, I don't know quite--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know exactly what I'm asking. You don't - this is all about you in the end. The reason these things happen is because of you.

He took liberties because he knows that you take liberties and get away with it and allow other people to get away with taking liberties.

JOHNSON: So I'm not quite sure what you're driving out here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you know perfectly well what I'm driving at. But you were asked - you were asked - you said on one of the other broadcasts,

you said, if you're saying you want me to undergo some sort of psychological transformation, I think that our listeners would know that is

not going to happen. Isn't that the problem? We need a psychological transformation if you're to stay in office?

JOHNSON: What we - with the greatest possible respect, what I think we all need to do is focus on the things that our electorate sent us here to

settle for them, and they are how to fix the post COVID economic shocks and that's what we're doing?

How to make sure that we improve the life chances of every kid growing up in this country? I think what Robert said about kids being excluded from

school was incredibly important. I got to go away and look at that.

These are the issues that matter to the people of this country. That does not exclude the fascination that people will have with these other

subjects. But that is what I am focused on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, they also need - they also focus on honesty, and decency and propriety and standards in public life and they hate it when

people when they get caught out just want to turn over the table and abolish all the rules.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But let me ask you one very specific final question which is just about the ministerial code because it enshrines the existence

of the independent adviser on the ministerial interest in the ministerial code, you haven't got one at the moment.

I hope you're going to appoint one very soon. And then you can tell us who that's going to be. But you authorized an investigation into Mark Spencer's

alleged Islamophobia, which I gather Lord Guide to very nearly completed. When will that be completed? And when will it be published?

JOHNSON: That's a very good question. I think that - did give me a brief update on it. I had the impression that was nearing conclusion. I'll have

to get back to you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And is there going to be a replacement?

JOHNSON: Oh, yes. There will be.


JOHNSON: As soon as we can find what I think the difficulty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That you haven't done enough ministers to the point yet, let alone. You've lost 32--

JOHNSON: I'm sure there'll be no shortage of candidates if I can just explain a bit about the replacement for Lord Guide? I do think there is an

issue. And I think that you know we need to think about it collectively, which is what happens when we appoint these people?

I think that they become - they can become very exposed and very vulnerable to abuse to political pressure at campaigns. And I'm just giving you my

view. They're much more public than they used to be. So Christopher, I think the outstanding job but he was - in that - he was - he was facing a

lot of public pressure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He resigned because he thought you'd like to him?

JOHNSON: That's not what he said. He's said that he resigned over the question of whether steel tariffs should be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Immediately resigned over steel tariffs, you know, perfectly well, that's not the truth.

JOHNSON: I'm sure you've seen his letter. That's what he says. And I think what he's - the issue there was whether imposing or keeping - retaining

steel tariffs in the UK?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry, Prime Minister, he resigned, as he says in his letter, because he knew that he wanted to initiate an investigation

into your breaching of the ministerial code, but he couldn't do so without resigning. And that put him in an impossible position. So that's expressly

what his letter says,

JOHNSON: Then you must have seen another letter because that's not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I read it, and you didn't.

JOHNSON: You can't do that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you Chairman. Chair after that break - let's perhaps get down to some facts. So Prime Minister, you know, my job in

parliament is to do the maths of a pen there. Could you tell us what 148 plus 32 ads up to?

JOHNSON: I never leave that. I think what you're inviting me to do--

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I'm asking you a simple question Prime Minister. Have you on earlier - asked you how many MPs you have? Perhaps Can you now

put someone's slip to a note just remind you how many Conservative MPs you- -


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know how many Conservative MPs you have in the Parliament Prime Minister?

JOHNSON: I think make this is a question designed to invite me to--



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me answer it. let me answer it then. So you have a 358 MPs, you did think it was 365, you have lost a few. As - has

highlighted, you have now have 32 Ministers and PPS who've resigned. It was 28 at the beginning of this meeting, and that and then an additional PPS

who will resign tomorrow, if you don't resign. So that makes it 182 if you include her. So half of 358, Prime Minister, just to make them as simple

for you, is 179 it's not looking very good, is it?

JOHNSON: You know, maybe - you want me to comment on--

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You lost the confidence of other half of not including other members who may not be in the 114. I've been generous--

JOHNSON: I'm here to talk about the government of the country those policies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Prime Minister, without the support of your party, you cannot govern this country responsibly or well, whatever our political

disagreements I have respect for the Office of Prime Minister, but I'm afraid I've completely lost respect for you and your capability.

JOHNSON: I think if you look at the actions that we're taking today, the bills that were getting through we are doing some fantastic things for the

people in this country. And we'll continue to do. I appreciate they may not be supported by the Labour Party make but that's not my problem that--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is being reported that there's a delegation of your cabinet colleagues waiting in Downing Street, including the Chief Whip, the

Transport Secretary and your new Chancellor, waiting to tell you when you finish here today that it's time for you to go? How will you respond to



JOHNSON: You're asking me to comment on--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This it's been in a few minutes Prime Minister.

JOHNSON: So you say, but I - if you want to ask about what we're doing to help people with the cost of living? Will ask about what we're doing to

build more cleanly green energy supply, which this committee has taken an interest in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's going to be your answer to the cabinet colleagues in Downing Street.

JOHNSON: I'm very happy to talk to you about it. But I'm not going to give a running commentary on political events. We're going to get on with the

government of the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prime Minister on the question of the Prime Minister's Adviser on ministerial interests, you had two resignations, not just one.

Why did Sir Alex Allen resign?

JOHNSON: Well, Sir Alex is - I think you pretty well documented - I thank him too. Was asked to investigate allegations of bullying against the Home

Secretary the team produced quite a long report every which was based on a lot of extensive work, mainly anonymized interviews.

And I read it very thoroughly. And the trouble I found with it was that nothing that the Home Secretary had actually said seemed to me to breach

the threshold necessary to trigger her resignation. Although, you might argue that she should have spoken in a different way. From time to time, it

didn't seem to me that that the allegations, holy stacked up. And I thought that it didn't trigger a reservation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It wasn't - that reason wasn't the reason.

JOHNSON: Yes, I kind of told the reason.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason he resigned is because he wouldn't even accept his report?

JOHNSON: Well, let me put it - let me say what happened. Sir Alex took a view that it was no - I read the report from, I read the whole thing. He

didn't actually write it, and but he's certainly ready to do some through some conclusions. I read over the interrogations that have taken place.

And it didn't seem to me that although she might have spoken differently from time to time, it didn't seem to me that she deserved to be fired on

the basis of what I read the whole thing. So I made this point now that the difficulty was Sir Alex thought that the ministerial code had been

breached, even if it in a minor way that any breach of the ministerial code necessarily meant a resignation.

That view has subsequently been modified by the Committee on Standards in public life who have said that the ministerial that there can be gradations

of sanctions for breaches of ministerial code--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what we should have done is accepted Sir Alex Allen's report. He would not have resigned - then it will be in your gift not to

demand the home secretary's resignation.

JOHNSON: No, but it wasn't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the system would have been changed retrospectively as it has done, but you wouldn't even accept his report?

JOHNSON: No. As I remember, the problem was that in order to - I would have had to accept the home secretary's resignation. That was a problem. And

that didn't seem to me, although it seemed to be to be a necessary outcome.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, supposing you're continuing office what are the lessons you learn from the appointment of Chris Pincher?

JOHNSON: I think the most important lesson is, first of all, don't be less optimistic about people's ability to learn--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has taken a bit more interest in it because it was extraordinary--

JOHNSON: And then secondly--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prime Minister, perhaps you should just take a bit more.

JOHNSON: Secondly, when something like this happens, make sure that we do a full timetable of exactly what happened and when it happened. So that when

people got to brief--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At term it's not a commons for locals Prime Minister it's a proprietary and ethics failure. Isn't the real lesson that if we

promote people with the wrong behavior and attitudes in this place, it will give permission for people to behave in that way, which is why we've got a

culture problem in this place?

JOHNSON: I want - I think that there your - I think it's what you're saying is very important. And I've given this a lot of thought and I do think

there is a problem with alcohol. And I've always resisted this included in the past but it sort of feels to me that some people simply can't take

their drink. And we need to think about how we work that is invalid.


JOHNSON: Now this particular event took place in--


JOHNSON: There's also an issue about standards of behavior. And so I additionally accept that I should have been more stringent in my approach.

As I've said earlier, I regret that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But don't we also need to learn. I take it the Chris Pincher is a friend of yours. And that would be perfectly respectable, that

we've let him down because we didn't give him the help he needed.

I think that's a very fair point. What system is there in this place to support people in that position? What do you have in place as a political -

as a leader of a political party to help people who have behavioral drinks problems?

JOHNSON: Well, I think that we all have a duty as colleagues to look after each other and to and to try to help people and that's actually one of the

functions of the whip's office--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I mean, unfortunately, whips have other duties, and they rather conflict with our duty of care. And there needs to be

something else to support people who need help, who don't feel that they're giving ammunition to the people who control their careers.

So that doesn't work, does it? Now, we've now got another whip appointed to take to do the duty of care work. I mean, that's not going to work, is it?

JOHNSON: What are you proposing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well I'm not going to make policy on the hoof here, but what you've got in place as leader of your party is not working? We do

accept that?

JOHNSON: I think there are issues about standards of behavior. I think there - I reluctantly come to the conclusion that there is an issue with


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean you're the last person in the room to accept that there's a problem. Why do you think integrity in public life has become

such an issue under your Premiership?

JOHNSON: Well, I think actually, the reality is that I think that people are very, very keen to try to get me off the subjects I want to talk about,

and to try to focus on me. So it's, my - I don't want to talk about it. I've been trying very hard.


JOHNSON: To - these, this session to talk about the things that I care about.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, how much consideration are you giving to the prospect of your resignation?

JOHNSON: I'm happy to tell you that I'm getting on with the job that I was elected to do. And that is what I'm going to do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So all these problems are basically somebody else's fault?

JOHNSON: No, I think that was - people left--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is the responsible? Who should be held accountable?

JOHNSON: I am responsible. But I'm also responsible Bernard for delivering a huge manifesto commitments that we made in 2019, many of which are now

coming through, who asked about what are we doing, to make sure that we were taxing electric vehicles properly.

There is there is a colossal body of work that we're engaged on right now. We are uniting leveling up across the country. We have the biggest program

of infrastructure investment that we've had for 100 years.

And I'm going to get on with delivering on the program that we set out and on the priorities. And I know that there will be plenty of people who for

whatever motive, want to try to throw me off course, by turning it into a story about something entirely different.

And I think that it'd be a fine thing, if we focused on the arguments between us that a robot policy and about the agenda, and what we are - what

we actually love doing, which is working hard for our constituents and trying to make their lives better?

Let's talk - I mean, we have we've had some interesting exchanges about how to control inflation, or motor vehicles. Those are the things that people

are interested in. And that's what I'm focused on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And sexual harassment - is about a culture of power. Have you just sat there and told us that alcohol is an excuse?

JOHNSON: Not at all? I mean, I made--

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --of the story by trying to talk about alcohol instead of talking about the culture that has underpinned those behaviors?

JOHNSON: Not at all.


JOHNSON: I just - I observed that some people seem to get very drunk. But you know that in no way minimize the underlying pattern of that debate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, what you've just done?

JOHNSON: Exactly. I don't think I vehemently disagree with that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope, if you will reflect that in the end, we're all dispensable.

JOHNSON: That is certainly true.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The programs, policies of government--


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --the welfare of the British people and the security of the nation are indispensable. And if you are becoming an obstruction to the

achievement of those aims, I hope you will consider your position?

JOHNSON: Of course, I would. I want to you know that it's my job is to get on and deliver on those aims. And that is what I was elected to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When he resigned if you do not have confidence of the majority of Conservative MPs.

JOHNSON: You're asking me - you're asking me again to offer commentary today from political events, where I'm here to talk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you to be clear about one thing, that if you have lost the confidence of your MPs, you will not seek a distribution. You will

stand aside and allow a leadership election to take place so the prime minister may take may send for an alternative leader. That's the proper

procedure, isn't it?

JOHNSON: Well, I'm going to do is getting on with know where you're quite right. Where I actually agree--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need you to answer this question--


JOHNSON: What I'm going to do is that I see absolutely--


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you have lost the competence of your MPs and you're required to step down as leader of the Conservative Party, you will not

seek to dissolve parliament this country needs--


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because we last thing for this--

JOHNSON: I'm not going step down the last thing this country needs, frankly, is election. What this on the contrary, I think the risk is that

people continue to focus on this type of thing. And I think that is. What we need to do to get on with--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How would you help the crisis in Ukraine at the cost of living crisis? If we were plunged into an in a general election that no?

JOHNSON: This is what it is - you're found.


JOHNSON: Of course I would resign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You ruled it out.

JOHNSON: The earliest date that I can see for general election is two years from now, or 2024, I think am the most likely date for next election. We

have a huge amount to deliver, we're going to get on and do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you're resigning if a vote of confidence in the Conservative Party, I think we're doing is carry, otherwise--

JOHNSON: You're asking me to comment on our politics. I think it's important that we get on and deliver on our agenda. And that is what I was

elected to do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think it's the understanding that this committee you envisage a general election in 23 or 24 not before. And if you've lost

the confidence of your own MPs, and you cease to be leader of the Conservative Party, you will not come to this country into an unwanted

general election?

JOHNSON: I've been very clear with you - whatever, for general election now on the country, what we need is stable government loving each other as

conservatives getting on to with our priorities that is what we need to do about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love all my colleagues, comments. Thank you.

JOHNSON: Thank you.


NOBILO: We've just been hearing the Prime Minister Boris Johnson face the Parliamentary Liaison Committee and it's been a grilling from the scandals

that have recently been plaguing him, asking the Prime Minister whether or not he was aware of sexual misconduct allegations to then be receiving more

obfuscation from the Prime Minister on that?

Boris Johnson also appear to suggest that he would countenance the dissolution of parliament or perhaps even a general election if his

"Mandate to continue wasn't respected". That mandate is obviously extremely shaky after we've had over 30 resignations from over 15 cabinet ministers

and all polls showing that the majority of British voters want Boris Johnson to resign, because he was also asked if he was delusional, to which

he replied perhaps all politicians, all of us are delusional and quite powerful exchange.

Chris Barnard, one of the members of the committee then said to the Prime Minister, that this is all about you. He said that the members of your

party take liberties because you take liberties. Now all of this is happening as behind the scenes.

We're hearing more reports over heavyweights in the Conservative Party meeting Downing Street in the corridors of power to come up with a plan to

convince the Prime Minister that he must resign and they can simply no longer keep going like this.

Also concomitantly we have the meeting of the 22 committee, the influential group of conservative backbenchers who have the power now to change the