Labour MP ordered to leave Commons for saying Boris Johnson has ‘lied over and over again’

‘Somebody needs to tell the truth in this House,’ says Dawn Butler

Adam Forrest@adamtomforrest
Thursday 22 July 2021 19:22
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Labour MP ordered to leave Commons after saying Boris Johnson has ‘lied over and over again’

A Labour MP was told to leave the Commons after she refused to withdrawn her claim that Boris Johnson has “lied to the House and the country over and over again”.

Dawn Butler said she would not take back her remarks. “It’s funny that we get in trouble for calling out the lie rather than the person lying,” she said.

Challenged twice by the temporary deputy speaker Judith Cummins to withdrawn her comments, Ms Butler refused, saying: “Somebody needs to tell the truth in this House that the prime minister has lied.”

The MP was then ordered to leave the House for the rest of the day, since it is not parliamentary etiquette to call another member a liar. Ms Butler left her seat and exited the chamber.

Before being ordered out of a debate on the pandemic, Ms Butler said: “Poor people in our country have paid with their lives because the prime minister has spent the last 18 months misleading this House, and the country, over and over again.”

She highlighted disputed claims made by Mr Johnson – referring to his statements on economic growth, NHS spending and nurses’ bursaries, before adding: “It’s dangerous to lie in a pandemic.”

Ms Butler, the former shadow secretary for equalities, said: “I am disappointed the prime minister has not come to the House to correct the record and correct the fact that he has lied to the House and the country over and over again.”

Calling the government “corrupt”, she added: “Whilst the NHS was coping with 130,000 people dying from the pandemic, the prime minister was making his mates rich – cronyism is rife, old chums are given jobs regardless of their skill set.”

The MP also referred to a video debunking several of the claims made by Mr Johnson in parliament that has been viewed 10 million times.

In August last year, lawyer and filmmaker Peter Stefanovic compiled and uploaded a two-minute video in which he fact-checked several statements made by the prime minister.

These include the government’s record on CO2 reductions, economic growth, nurses’ bursaries, hospital car parking, NHS spending, the Covid track and trace app and poverty in the UK.

Labour MP Dawn Butler leaves the Commons

The former senior No 10 adviser Dominic Cummings also claimed Mr Johnson was a liar during his testimony to MPs at a joint committee hearing in June.

Mr Cummings said that Mr Johnson “lies – so blatantly, so naturally, so regularly – that there is no real distinction possible with him, as there is with normal people, between truth and lies”.

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