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PM refuses four times to answer whether he'd quit if Keir resigns

12 May 2022, 09:06

Boris Johnson has refused to say what would happen if Sir Keir Starmer quit in an interview with LBC's Nick Ferrari
Boris Johnson has refused to say what would happen if Sir Keir Starmer quit in an interview with LBC's Nick Ferrari. Picture: Alamy/LBC

By Daisy Stephens

Boris Johnson has refused to answer four times whether or not he would resign if Sir Keir Starmer quits.

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Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari, Mr Johnson dodged questioning about what would happen if Sir Keir was fined over Beergate - something the Labour leader has already said he would resign over.

"I've known you a long time," Nick said to the Prime Minister.

"If Sir Keir Starmer goes as a result of this Durham police investigation, where does that leave you?"

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In response, the Prime Minister said: "I think that I am in the happy position of being able to focus on things that I think…"

Nick interrupted him, saying: "Didn't really answer the question, respectfully, Mr Prime Minister."

When Mr Johnson avoided the question again, Nick said: "Some people would say your integrity is key.

"If Sir Keir goes, do you?"

When he asked the question for a fourth time, the Prime Minister said that Partygate "however fascinating it is to people" is not "material to the cost of living".

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"What matters to me is getting our people through the aftershocks of Covid and coming out strongly the other side, but making sure that we use the all the legislative firepower in the Queen's Speech, all the things that we're doing on skills, on infrastructure, on the cost of energy, on education, to make sure that we have a strong economic recovery, that we power through," he said.

"And that actually, if you look at what the forecasts are for this country, that is exactly what is going to happen."

He said the UK was facing a "squeeze" on energy prices "because of mistakes that were made long ago".

"That's having an impact now on families and, you know, I bitterly regret that, but we've shown that by taking imaginative steps, we can help our country through difficult times," he said.

"By focusing on jobs, we will have a strong, long-term recovery."

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Mr Johnson has been under pressure for months after allegations of a string of lockdown-breaching parties.

A report by senior civil servant Sue Gray into the parties found there were "failures of leadership and judgement by different parts of No 10 and the Cabinet Office" and criticised a culture of rule-breaking at the time.

Boris Johnson was then fined by the Met over one of the gatherings.

When Sir Keir was pictured with a beer in hand in his constituency office in April 2021, Durham Police announced they would investigate and the leader was accused of hypocrisy.

Then, on Monday, Sir Keir announced he would resign if he was fined, piling more pressure on the Prime Minister to do the same.

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