UK politics live: Starmer demands ‘proper pay rise’ for NHS as he launches Labour’s campaign for May elections





Speaker says it will be ‘dishonourable’ if PM keeps refusing to admit he misled MPs

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons Speaker, has piled pressure on Boris Johnson to correct an untruthful claim made yesterday at PMQs.

Johnson left the chamber immediately after his weekly grilling by MPs, so escaped having to hear a complaint made about him for saying Labour voted against the NHS funding bill.

At the time shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said Johnson should be made to “return to the house to correct the record” – but Hoyle said by making his intervention, Ashworth had achieved his aim of clarification.

Today, no doubt after quite a lot of anger from opposition MPs, Hoyle issued a new statement – saying that the onus is on MPs to “correct the record if they make an inaccurate statement to the House”.

He cited the ministerial code, which says MPs should “correct any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity”.

And he said ministers “must take responsibility for correcting the record if a mistake has been made”. In a hint that a tougher rebuke might follow if the PM did not admit his mistake, Hoyle added:


It is not dishonourable to make a mistake, but to seek to avoid admitting one is a different matter.

No 10 has so far avoided saying why Johnson made the untruthful remark during a lengthy exchange on NHS workers’ pay with Sir Keir Starmer. It has also refused to apologise, or even directly admit that what Johnson said was wrong.

Johnson’s press secretary, Allegra Stratton, claimed yesterday that given Hoyle’s response to the complaint made yesterday, the Speaker “regarded it as having been dealt with”. But this morning’s intervention from Hoyle shows that he doesn’t.


Sir Lindsay Hoyle. Photograph: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA




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