An MP was thrown out of Parliament for calling Boris Johnson "a liar"

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Photo credit: Robert Perry
Photo credit: Robert Perry

After Dawn Butler was thrown out of parliament yesterday for repeatedly calling the Prime Minister 'a liar,' the Labour MP has defended her actions in an interview with Byline. She put forward claims that Boris Johnson has mislead MPs and the public on numerous issues, from the pandemic to economic growth.

"The thing is Boris Johnson is a serial liar," Butler says in the video interview. "That's been proven time and time again. He said for instance the economy has improved 73% since the Tories have taken over. That's a lie, it's 20%." (Full Fact, an independent fact-checking website explains that Johnson was not correct with this claim and say: "Under Conservative-led governments since 2010, the UK’s GDP has grown by around 20% (depending on exactly when you start counting), not 73% as Mr Johnson said. We’ve asked his office for more information.

It adds that "73% is how much the economy grew between 1990 and 2017, which comprised 13 years of Labour government, more than 10 years of Conservative government and five years of the Coalition."

Addressing the Commons at the final debate before MPs leave parliament for summer recess, Butler had accused Boris Johnson of 'misleading the house' and mishandling the pandemic. "Poor people in this country have paid with their lives because the prime minister spent the last 18 months misleading this house and the country," the Brent Central MP said.

"The prime minister has lied to this house time and time again,” Butler continued. "And it’s funny that we get in trouble in this place for calling out the lie, rather than the person lying."

Photo credit: David Rose
Photo credit: David Rose

When pressed to "reflect on her words" by the acting deputy speaker Judith Cummings, the Labour MP refused, resulting in her being ejected from the Commons. Under parliamentary law, MPs are not allowed to accuse each other of 'lying' in the House of Commons.

Butler later said she also took issue with Boris Johnson's failure to get the scientific facts correct, citing one example of the PM saying the UK had severed the link between infection, hospital rates and death. "That's a lie - the scientists had to correct Boris Johnson and say the link has been weakened," Butler says. "Weakened is very different from being severed."

She added that believes the government is 'corrupt to the core'. 'They will do whatever they want, whatever they like to get their hands on public money and to give that public money to their mates."

The Labour MP continued to say the UK has seen an erosion of public democracy. "The Coronavirus Act 2020 gave unprecedented powers to this government," she added. "They can do whatever they want, when they want, and we are not allowed to question anything. And really people should be worried about that. Time and time again we've got government ministers that have been literally caught with their pants down and nothing has been down about it."

She ended the interview by stating how crucial it was to call the PM out. "As a backbencher if I can't call it out and say it as it is, who's going to do it? And I just thought it was important today."

Though Westminster have yet decided to comment, in response to Butler's speech, former Conservative minister Gavin Barwell tweeted: "In general, I'm all for politicians being authentic, but there's enough poison in our politics as it is and we should resist a descent to the name-calling that is common in some other countries."

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