Johnson from UK to be questioned by MPs over sleazy claims

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a parliamentary grill on Wednesday over accusations of foolishness within his Conservative Party and lackluster leadership at the COP26 climate summit.

Johnson will be questioned by heads of parliament’s all-party select committees at 3:00 p.m. GMT for a review of government policy, typically held three times a year and which can prove uncomfortable for leaders under fire.

This session – Johnson’s sixth since he became Prime Minister in mid-2019 – coincides with a latent crisis over the conduct of MPs, mainly his own ruling Conservative Party, over potential conflicts of interest and second lucrative jobs.

On the eve of his appearance, Johnson sought to take the lead by writing to the Speaker of Parliament to tell him he would support proposals to ban UK lawmakers from acting as paid political consultants and advisers.

“It is imperative that we challenge the reputation of the House of Commons by ensuring that the rules that apply to members of Parliament are up to date, effective and sufficiently stringent,” he wrote.

The move came as the main opposition Labor Party was preparing to introduce a vote on Wednesday to ban MPs from such roles, as well as from being paid directors, which its leader Keir Starmer said had forced the Johnson’s hand.

UK lawmakers are allowed to take on outside roles, as long as they declare them, but are not allowed to use their offices or parliamentary resources for such work.

Paid lobbying is also prohibited, with accusations of wrongdoing being examined by parliamentary standards oversight bodies.

Meticulous examination

The current scandal escalated this month when Johnson attempted – unsuccessfully – to overhaul the way that surveillance system works after MP Owen Paterson was suspended for lobbying ministers at two companies who were on the hook. had on the payroll.

It quickly emerged that many other MPs had second, well-paying jobs, especially lawyer and former Attorney General Geoffrey Cox.

He has been accused of using his parliamentary office for outside legal work, which has earned him more than £ 6million ($ 8million, € 7million) since becoming a Member of Parliament in 2005 , in addition to his annual MP salary – currently around £ 82,000.

Paterson has resigned from Parliament, while Cox denies breaking the rules.

The saga has seen support for both Johnson and the Tories plummet in recent polls.

Wednesday’s question and answer session will also see Johnson asked about Britain’s hosting of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, which ended last weekend with the signing of an agreement by nearly 200 countries. to try to stop uncontrollable global warming.

However, two weeks of painful negotiations – and two personal visits from the British leader – have failed to achieve what scientists say is necessary to contain dangerous hikes.

Opposition lawmakers accused Johnson of not taking the summit seriously enough, having returned less than a full day after the first gathering of world leaders at the start.

Senior MPs will also tell him about the government’s efforts to respond to violence against women and girls, following several high-profile cases that rocked the country and sparked an uproar.

The British leader had previously been reluctant to confront the oversight committee, dropping several invitations in 2019 and only appearing before him for the first time nearly a year after taking power.

He was last interviewed by the panel in July.

(AFP)

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