Written by: Dawn Butler, Labour MP for Brent Central
These last 19 months have been so difficult, and our prime minister has made a bad situation worse.
I needed to voice this; I needed Government to listen.
So I did, yesterday [22 July 2021].
It led to me being thrown out of the House of Commons and ordered off the estate for calling Boris Johnson a liar.
Luckily, I had taken my bag with me to the Chamber, as I was told I needed to leave immediately because MPs are not allowed to call other MPs (or the prime minister) liars.
But I don’t regret a thing, I stand by what I said. I simply had enough and had to speak truth to power.
My stance has clearly struck a chord with the country. Maybe there are more of us that stand together than the PM and his cronies realise. Many people are wondering why I got ejected and handed a one-day suspension for saying something that every one of us knows to be true.
It’s a good question. Especially as this came on the same day Jacob Rees-Mogg was criticised for using the highly offensive term ‘yellow peril’, considered a racist term about the ‘threat’ of East Asian people to the West.
He received no punishment, even though the rules clearly state MPs should not use abusive or offensive language.
And earlier this week, three Conservative MPs were set to be suspended for only one day after being found to have tried to influence a judge in a high-profile criminal trial.
It seems that calling Johnson a liar is worthy of the same suspension as trying to improperly influence a sexual assault court case.
How does that make any sense? I am sick and tired of abiding by the rules that the establishment ignore or constantly break. The new Alice in Wonderland world we live in needs resetting before it’s too late.
I hope my actions highlight that in Parliament, we get in more trouble for calling out lies than people do for telling lies. This archaic system serves only to protect privilege and don’t they know it.
The truth is, Boris Johnson IS a liar.
It’s been proven time and time again. So, I could not in good conscience withdraw my remarks when asked quite rightly by the Deputy Speaker.
Boris Johnson has lied to the country and to the House of Commons repeatedly for years. There are so many examples.
- LIE: Johnson said recently about the coronavirus pandemic that the ‘scientists are also absolutely clear that we have severed the link between infection and serious disease and death’. This is a lie. Not only is it untrue but it is dangerous.
What Sir Patrick Vallance actually said was that:
‘… vaccines have weakened the link between cases and hospitalisation, but it’s a weakened link, not a completely broken link, and we will still see increases in hospitalisation.’
LIE: Speaking about Covid contracts that had not been published, Johnson told MPs they were ‘on the record for everyone to see’. This is a lie – the High Court confirmed 100 contracts had yet to be revealed at the time the PM made his comments.
LIE: Talking about the UK economy, Johnson has told MPs: ‘The economy, under this Conservative Government, has grown by 73%’. This is a lie. The economy has grown by only 20% under the Conservative led government.
LIE: Speaking about the NHS, Johnson has said: ‘You all know that the Government is engaged in record investments in the NHS, £34bn.’ According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, it was closer to £23.5bn.
LIE: On the development of Test and Trace, Johnson once said to Parliament: ‘The app would be the icing on the cake. If we can get it to work it’d be a fine thing. But there isn’t one anywhere in the world’. Yet another lie. At the time, Germany and several other countries had launched apps.
> And who can forget, Boris Johnson has been sacked from his previous jobs on more than one occasion for lying – once for even making up quotes!
I could go on and on listing the lies told by Boris Johnson, it’s an almost endless list.
It’s a damning indictment of this Conservative Government that it is led by a person whose character is so marked by dishonesty, untrustworthiness, and deceit.
People say we price-in Boris Johnson’s lies, that might be OK for his friends but it is not OK for the country.
In ordinary times we are used to governments who are at least to some degree honest and principled. But this Tory Government is utterly corrupt to the core.
They will do whatever they want to get their hands on public money – just look at how many millions in Government contracts have been awarded to people connected to the Conservative Party.
So, the constant lying is no accident, it’s a cover. It is part of their a_ttack on our country’s democracy and our freedoms_.
This erosion of our democracy is part of a pattern that threatens our fundamental British values of free speech and debate.
This very Government attempted to shut down Parliament – something which the High Court found unlawful – to escape criticism over its Brexit strategy. In my opinion, the PM lied to the Queen!
So, for those who say that I broke the rules, either the rules apply to everyone or no one. I will be happy to follow the rules if Boris Johnson and his ministers do the same.
It’s vitally important that we all take a stand against this authoritarian, toxic elitist Government that is eroding our Parliament and our democracy before it is too late.
If you agree, let’s join together and make our voices heard.
Although this Government is trying to dismantle our democracy, I will stand up for my constituents in Brent and elsewhere, and I will never stop speaking truth to power.