John Major attacks ‘politically corrupt’ Johnson government

John Main, the previous Tory prime minister, has labelled the actions of Boris Johnson’s authorities odious, lawbreaking and really un-Conservative, in a withering assault on his successor in Quantity 10.

Main, prime minister from 1990-97, warned that Johnson’s conduct of presidency would price the Conservatives pricey, claiming a few of his administration’s actions had been “politically corrupt”.

He was talking on the finish of a shambolic week for Johnson, whose makes an attempt to alter Home of Commons requirements guidelines and defend a Tory colleague accused of “corrupt” practices backfired.

Main additionally mentioned Johnson could be “colossally silly” if he adopted via on his risk to droop elements of the Northern Eire protocol, a part of the Brexit settlement.

“There’s a basic whiff of ‘we’re the masters now’ about their behaviour and I feel that is reducing via to the general public,” Main informed the BBC’s Right this moment programme. “A lot of what they’re doing could be very un-conservative in its behaviour.” 

“They bypass parliament at will and the Speaker has expressed his frustration about that on many events, and rightly so. However in addition they behaved badly in different methods which might be maybe politically corrupt.”

Main’s feedback replicate anger amongst many Conservative MPs, who have been dragooned into supporting Johnson’s botched plan to guard Owen Paterson, a former cupboard minister, who broke Commons guidelines by lobbying ministers on behalf of two corporations paying him £100,000 a yr.

Paterson’s conduct was labelled “corrupt” by Chris Bryant, chair of the cross-party Commons requirements committee. The previous cupboard minister denies the cost, however Labour has launched a social media onslaught aimed toward Johnson for alleged tolerating corruption.

“Numerous Conservative MPs rebelled and really nicely executed them,” Main mentioned. “I want extra had had the braveness to take action and I think they’ll in future as a result of they have been put in a dreadful place by the prime minister.”

Ministers have admitted they made a mistake in linking makes an attempt to reform the Home of Commons requirements system with the person case of Paterson, who has now give up as an MP.

Main has been a powerful critic of Johnson previously, notably over Brexit, however his interventions in home politics are rare. In Saturday’s interview he was in a state of barely suppressed fury.

“This authorities has executed quite a lot of issues that concern me deeply,” he mentioned. “They’ve damaged the regulation — I keep in mind the unlawful prorogation of parliament.” He added: “They’ve damaged treaties — I’ve within the thoughts the Northern Eire protocol.

“They’ve damaged their phrase on many events — the one which I discover most odious was the reducing of abroad support, which was a statutory requirement to make and was minimize lengthy earlier than parliament gave permission for it.”

Triggering Article 16 of the Northern Eire protocol, the treaty override mechanism, could be “colossally silly” he mentioned. “It could be absurd,” he mentioned. “Who negotiated the wretched protocol? Lord [David] Frost and the prime minister. They negotiated it. They signed it. Now they want to break it.”

“In the intervening time we’re negotiating over the protocol with all of the subtlety of a brick.”

Main’s personal authorities was rocked by sleaze allegations within the Nineteen Nineties, however he mentioned he had arrange the Nolan committee to attempt to enhance requirements in public life.


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