Fury as Tory MP says people ‘enjoy’ party scandal
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Craig Mackinlay and Barry Gardiner came to blows during a tense BBC Politics Live episode after Mr Mackinlay was grilled over the absence of Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the Downing Street party saga. Mr Mackinlay deflected the attack and said there were “other things in this country that need to be talked about” and said the scandal was “manna from heaven” which was being “enjoyed” by Boris Johnson’s opponents. But a disgusted Mr Gardiner said he was “certainly not” enjoying the scandal as he began dressing down the Tory MP.
Speaking on BBC Politics Live, Mr Mackinlay was asked by host Jo Coburn about the missing chancellor, who was in Devon instead of being at Prime Minister’s Questions.
Mr Mackinlay said: “I don’t think the Chancellor is always next to the PM when there are other things.
“And let’s not forget there are other things in this country we need to be talking about, it’s levelling up, it’s energy costs.
“It’s the potential constitutional crisis Northern Ireland, it’s the gathering of Russian troops on the Ukraine border.
“Let’s not forget there is a big world out there, I know that this is manna from heaven with a lot of gold topping on and we’re enjoying it, aren’t we?
“But let’s not forget there is the issue of government to continue.”
Mr Gardiner was furious at the statement and said the country was not “enjoying” the Downing Street scandals as many have lost loved ones without being able to say goodbye to them.
He replied: “I’m very sorry if you’re enjoying this. I’m not and the country certainly is not.
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“The country is not enjoying this, because they feel that they’ve been lied to.
“They feel that they haven’t been treated with contempt because it’s been one rule for Boris Johnson…”
Mr Mackinley attempted to interrupt by saying there was an inquiry in place so assumptions should not be made before its findings are released.
But Mr Gardiner attacked his opponent and demanded to be allowed to continue.
The Labour MP said the public was “furious” with the scandal and explained how the previous scandals hitting the Tories, such as government PPE contracts and lobbying breaches, all “bundled together” to show the Government was not fit to rule.
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He added: “The public are looking at this government and are saying ‘you know what, there’s something really, really wrong here.”
Boris Johnson appeared before the House of Commons during PMQs and offered his “heartfelt apologies” after admitting he did attend a Downing Street garden gathering on May 20, 2020.
He told MPs: “I know the rage they feel with me over the Government I lead when they think that in Downing Street itself the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules.
“I went into that garden just after six on the 20th of May 2020 to thank groups of staff before going back into my office 25 minutes later to continue working.”
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