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Boris Johnson news – live: PM denies he is ‘habitual liar’ in Mumsnet interview

‘People throw all sorts of accusations at me,’ Johnson says in his defence

Liam James,Stuti Mishra
Friday 03 June 2022 04:27 BST
Mumsnet user asks why public should believe 'habitual liar' Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson today denied he was a “habitual liar” when asked why the public should believe anything he says.

In an interview with the prime minister, Justine Roberts, founder of Mumsnet, said users of the online forum asked about his “trust and integrity”.

One user asked: “Why should we believe anything you say when it’s been proven you’re a habitual liar?”

Mr Johnson said he did not accept the description or the premise of the question. “People throw all sorts of accusations at me about all sorts of things ... you’ve just got to look at the record of what I deliver,” he said.

The prime minister went on to be asked if he would resign over the Partygate scandal. “I cannot see how it would be responsible right now, with everything that’s going on, simply to abandon … the project on which I embarked,” he said.

Earlier, Dominic Raab dismissed the idea that his boss could face a confidence vote as early as next week – describing the speculation as “Westminster froth”.


UK faces prospect of naval conflict with Russia, Tory MP claims

A Tory MP has claimed that the UK faces the prospect of a naval confrontation with Russia over the Ukraine war.

Alec Shelbrooke, the MP for Elmet & Rothwell who is head of the UK’s delegation to Nato, made the comments in a statement on his website on Wednesday.

He warned that there was a “high risk of death to British service personnel”. For these reasons, he argued it is not the right time for the UK to change PM.

Our politics editor Andrew Woodcock reports:

UK’s Nato envoy warns Royal Navy may have to battle Russia

Royal Navy ships could be sent into action against Russian’s Black Sea blockade of Ukraine, a Tory MP who leads the UK’s parliamentary delegation to Nato has suggested.

Matt Mathers1 June 2022 13:48

Lord Geidt intervention a 'damning indictment' of PM's integrity - Labour

Lord Geidt's intervention in the Partygate scandal is a damning indictment of Boris Johnson's "integrity", Labour has said.

Lisa Nandy, the shadow levelling up secretary, said: "Lord Geidt has got to make his own decision about whether he resigns or not.

"What is clear to the whole country is that this is a prime minister who lacks integrity, who lacks the decency and honesty that it takes to lead this country.

"If you can't trust him on whether he can follow his own rules, whether he'll rewrite those rules or tear up those rules, because he thinks he doesn't apply to them, how can you trust him when he says that he'll tackle the cost-of-living crisis engulfing families and businesses across this country?"

Speaking in Wakefield, Ms Nandy added: "This is just a damning indictment of the Prime Minister's leadership that successive ethics advisers just feel that they can't trust the integrity of the prime minister.

"This is a government that is rotten to the core, that the rot starts from the top."

She said: "If you can't trust a single word that prime minister says then the problems go much deeper than one ethics adviser."

Matt Mathers1 June 2022 14:14

Johnson - more ‘pragmatism’ and less ‘theology’ needed on Brexit’s Northern Ireland protocol

More comments now from Boris Johnson’s interview with Mumsnet.

He said that more “pragmatism” and less “theology” is needed to fix Brexit’s Northern Ireland protocol.

He said: "I think that the protocol is certainly not functioning well. And the last thing we want to have is a border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and that is simply not going to happen.

"All that we're trying to do is to get rid of some pretty pointless and bureaucratic checks on stuff that's going from GB to Northern Ireland.

Boris Johnson speaks to Mumsnet

"Now, I did the protocol, I negotiated it. The problem is that I thought that it would be implemented with common sense and pragmatism - because the ultimate arbiter of how to make it work, unfortunately, is the EU.

"And I just think what is needed is more pragmatism and less theology, because at the moment what you've got is one community in Northern Ireland - the unionist/loyalist community - feeling that there's a border down the Irish Sea, an east-west border, and that is inflaming their sentiment. They won't go back into government in Northern Ireland unless we fix it.

"So for me, the priority is to fix the protocol and get the Good Friday Agreement institutions up and running again. That's what needs to happen."

Matt Mathers1 June 2022 14:37

Nadine Dorries: MPs moving against Johnson motivated by ‘personal ambition’

Boris Johnson loyalist Nadine Dorries claims efforts to topple the prime minister are being co-ordinated by a handful of ambitious individuals.

Culture secretary Nadine Dorries said a vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson would be an “indulgence” and attempts to remove him were doing the opposition’s work for them.

Her comments, on the BBC’s World At One programme, came as speculation continued to mount that enough Conservative MPs had written to the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee to trigger a confidence vote.

Ms Dorries said: “I can assure you that the overwhelming number of Conservative MPs are fully behind the prime minister, absolutely back him.

“There is obviously, I think probably led by one or two individuals, a campaign behind the scenes to try, attempt to remove the prime minister for individual reasons to do with personal ambition or other reasons.”

Matt Mathers1 June 2022 15:06

Tory MP condemns ‘failure of leadership’ – but no sign of no-confidence letter

In a letter to a constituent, Tory MP Simon Fell said he was left “angry and disappointed” by the Sue Gray report – saying a “corrosive culture and failure of leadership” during Partygate, our politics reporter, Adam Forrest, writes.

In scathing remarks, he said: “As Ms Gray details, a corrosive culture and a failure in leadership allowed this to happen and apologising after the fact is insufficient ... Trust matters.

And standards in public life go to the heart of maintaining it – once trust is lost, the whole house of cards is at risk of collapse.”

Despite questioning the PM’s leadership, the MP for Barrow & Furness said the saga had been a “very sorry distraction” to the government’s agenda, with no suggestion that he had sent a letter of no-confidence.

Matt Mathers1 June 2022 15:20

Sharp fall in number who think government not doing enough on cost of living

Half the population still think the government needs to do more to combat the cost of living crisis, a poll has found – but that figure has dropped from 76 per cent one month ago.

Rishi Sunak announced £15bn in new cost of living support last week and has himself enjoyed a boost in the polls taken by Ipsos, though it was much more modest, going from 37 per cent of people thinking he was doing a bad job to 32 per cent.

Keiran Pedley, research director at Ipsos, said: “There are some encouraging signs for the Conservatives in these numbers, with a sharp fall in the number of Britons that think the government is not doing enough on the cost of living.”

Labour continued to lead the Tories on both managing Britain’s taxes and public spending and reducing the cost of living.

Liam James1 June 2022 15:50

Watch: Mumsnet asks Boris Johnson why public should believe a ‘habitual liar'

A Mumsnet question and answer session with Boris Johnson opened with a user calling the prime minister a ‘habitual liar’.

The user asked the prime minister why the public should believe anything he says.

“People throw all sorts of accusations at me about all sorts of things... you’ve just got to look at the record of what I deliver,” Mr Johnson responded.

Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts said one-half of the questions they received for Mr Johnson were about “trust and integrity.”

Mumsnet user asks why public should believe 'habitual liar' Boris Johnson
Liam James1 June 2022 16:08

Wakefield by-election ‘could spell end’ of Boris Johnson

Labour has launched its campaign for the Wakefield by-election, saying regaining the West Yorkshire seat for the party “could spell the end of Boris Johnson”.

Candidate Simon Lightwood was joined at Ossett Cricket and Athletic Club by shadow levelling up, housing and communities secretary Lisa Nandy, who said the vote on 23 June could mean a “fresh start for the country”.

Mr Lightwood told supporters: “Wakefield has the power to send a message to the Conservative Party. We know that the eyes of the country are upon us.

“After repeated lies and law-breaking, a defeat for the Conservatives here could spell the end of Boris Johnson.”

Labour lost to the Conservatives in Wakefield in 2019 on a 6.1 per cent swing. Voters are deciding who will replace convicted sex offender Imran Ahmad Khan, who resigned the seat earlier this year.

The Wakefield poll is being held on the same day as the Tiverton and Honiton by-election in Devon, which was called after Tory MP Neil Parish resigned for having watched pornography in the Commons.

Lightwood (centre) with Nandy (left) and Denise Jeffery, leader of Wakefield Council

Liam James1 June 2022 16:36

Boris Johnson says he didn’t eat cake at law-breaking birthday party

Boris Johnson said “no cake was consumed” by him at the birthday party in Downing Street during lockdown he was fined by police for attending.

Northern Ireland minister Conor Burns famously described the prime minister as having been “ambushed with a cake” at the event.

In an interview with Mumsnet today, Mr Johnson was asked to name his favourite biscuit, and if he “preferred cake” now.

He responded: “If you’re talking satirically about that miserable event whose picture appeared on the front pages, no cake was consumed by me. I can tell you that much.”

The prime minister said his favourite biscuit was a chocolate digestive.

19 June 2020: A gathering in Downing Street for the prime minister’s birthday [photo featured in Sue Gray report]

Liam James1 June 2022 16:55

We’re pausing The Independent’s live coverage of politics for the evening. Thanks for following.

Make sure to check back tomorrow for more updates. In the meantime, you can catch up on today’s events below or check out our politics news homepage for the latest coverage.

Liam James1 June 2022 17:46

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