South Shields MP takes Boris Johnson to task over Covid, Tory donors, hungry children and UK's debt
South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck has taken Prime Minister Boris Johnson to task over a host of problems and controversies facing the country following his first year in post.
The Labour member questioned what the Prime Minister’s greatest achievement has been in his first year in office during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons today, Wednesday, December 2.
Mrs Lewell-Buck said: “I want to congratulate the Prime Minister as I think next week marks his first year in post.
“However, in that time over 71,000 Covid deaths – the highest rate in Europe, over £2 trillion in debt – the worst worst-performing economy in the G7, failing Brexit negotiations and at least £1.5 billion of taxpayers’ money spent on contracts to Tory friends and donors – whilst at the same time whipping his MPs to vote against meals for hungry children.
“Which one of these achievements is he most proud of?”
Boris Johnson replied: “I’d take her more seriously if her party leader would vote for measures that would open up the economy whilst protecting lives across the UK.”
In addition to her question, she responded to the debate in the chamber following questions from party leader Sir Keir Starmer over today’s announcement that the Pfizer and BioNTech jab will be rolled out from next week, saying: “Looks like after questions from @Keir_Starmer the PM has no clue at all about how the #vaccine will be rolled out.”
Ms Lewell-Buck and Jarrow MP Kate Osborne were among seven North East MPs from their party to vote against the tier system during a vote on Monday, November 30, going against Sir Keir’s call to abstain from the process – the result showed 291 votes to 78, giving a majority of 213.
Ms Lewell-Buck said: “The Government have got this wrong, doing the same thing over and over again is failing communities like South Shields and costing us dearly.”
Later in today’s debate, the PM was asked by Conservative MP Karl McCartney, who represents Lincoln, to “seriously consider allowing local decision-makers the chance to set tier systems locally”.
Mr Johnson replied: “Of course we want to reflect local conditions as closely and accurately as we can in taking our decisions about tiering, but we must look at the entire national picture.”