Johnson has said he will not be stepping down despite the public backlash.
Instead, he has now rolled out a new controversial scheme where some asylum seekers who supposedly arriving into the UK illegally via the English Channel will be sent to Rwanda in East Africa to be processed.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, Husain compared this new system with the prime minister’s own refusal to step down after breaking his Covid laws.
She asked Hart: “Why should people stick to legal migration routes when the prime minister himself has acted outside the law?”
He replied: “Conflating what we’re talking about around migration and allegations around the Downing Street parties are the appropriate sanction for breaches and regulations in a little under two years ago, and I really would be more than happy to talk about that by the way, but the comparison between illegal people and ....”
Husain cut in: “The prime minister sets the tone doesn’t he? He should be a model for everybody’s behaviour.”
“I completely agree,” Hart replied enthusiastically.
“OK, so by that standard, then someone who arrives through this illegal route should really be able to say sorry and everyone moves on.”
“I really do reject the idea that we’re trying to compare a Covid regulation for which there was a fixed penalty notice sanction and .... criminal gangs...”
As the two spoke over one another, Husain pointed out that these were “regulations designed to save lives,” quoting the government’s slogan from 2020 – “stay home, protect the NHS, save lives,” and adding: “It wasn’t trivial, was it?”
“Of course not, of course not,” Hart replied. “But it came with the proper sanction, I think we all agreed on, was the fixed penalty notice for breaches of Covid regulation.
“But by the way, I’m not here to make excuses or try and justify misjudgements that were made a little under two years ago.
“That is – we have to hold our hands up and say a sort of collective responsibility right, and say, ‘we made some significant misjudgements back at that time’.”
Hart also managed to trigger further online backlash after his performance in this interview, because he described asylum seekers as “illegal people” rather than individuals fleeing from war, poverty or persecution.