Labour Hits Back At Government's Accusations Against Starmer: 'This Is Just A Joke, Right?'

Keir Starmer has since withdrawn his comment from Wednesday's PMQs.
Wes Streeting defended Keir Starmer against the Tories' accusations on Thursday
Wes Streeting defended Keir Starmer against the Tories' accusations on Thursday
Sky News

Labour’s shadow health secretary completely rejected the Tories’ claims that Keir Starmer misled parliament during PMQs.

On Thursday morning, cabinet minister Nadhim Zahawi’s called for the Labour leader to apologise after claiming – incorrectly, according to the Conservatives – that Boris Johnson had criticised the BBC for its Ukraine coverage and the government’s Rwanda policy.

Starmer has since withdrawn his comment from yesterday’s PMQs, even though Labour’s Wes Streeting fiercely defended him over it this morning.

Speaking to Sky News’ Kay Burley, Streeting said: “This is just a joke, right?

“Boris Johnson on his way to India acknowledged that his own spokesperson had misled journalists, however inadvertently, about what had happened at a meeting of Conservative MPs.”

The prime minister did play down claims he criticised the BBC while on the plane to India this morning, explaining: “All I said was I thought that the policy had been misconstrued on the BBC by some parts of the clergy, that’s what I said.”

Back on Sky News, Streeting said: “Instead of writing letters to Keir Starmer, maybe the Conservative Party will write letters to the prime minister’s spokesperson and clear that up.”

He continued: ″What I thought was extraordinary was that while the Conservative party said what Boris Johnson was alleged to have been said about the BBC wasn’t true, they haven’t denied smearing the Archbishop of Canterbury.

“We’ve had Conservative MPs out on Easter Sunday trying to tell the Archbishop of Canterbury what he could and couldn’t say in his Easter message, now trying to smear the Archbishop of Canterbury, suggesting the Church of England had been more soft on Russia than the government’s approach to Rwanda.

“As an Anglican, I find that deeply offensive.”

He then appealed to “decent” Tory MP to stop supporting the prime minister, as “it’s as plain as the nose on my face that Boris Johnson lied to parliament”.

Streeting then explained why Labour have tabled a motion for MPs to vote on whether to have a probe into whether Johnson lied to the house over partygate.

He said: ″We need this parliamentary investigation because the rules of the Palace of Westminster assume that MPs and ministers act with honesty, integrity and don’t lie.

″We’re not allowed to call each other liars. We need an investigation to prove that Boris Johnson has lied.”


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