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Sunak clashes with senior Welsh MP over respect for Parliament

04 Jul 2023 4 minute read
Chris Bryant in the House of Commons

Rishi Sunak was accused of caring more about the laws of cricket than respecting Parliament in tetchy exchanges with a senior MP.

Standards Committee chairman Sir Chris Bryant clashed with the Prime Minister over his attendance in the Commons chamber.

Sir Chris challenged Mr Sunak over his failure to deliver a major NHS statement in Parliament and missing the next two sessions of Prime Minister’s Questions.

He also questioned him on his absence from votes on the conduct of Owen Paterson and Boris Johnson.

“We are talking about your respect for Parliament,” the MP for Rhondda said.

In a reference to Downing Street’s comments on the controversial Lord’s Ashes Test, Sir Chris said: “For two rule-breaking moments you chose not to be in Parliament but yesterday you opined on the rules of cricket.”

Mr Sunak said “I’m very happy to talk about the rules of cricket, as you mentioned”, but Sir Chris shot back: “But not about rule-breaking in Parliament.”


Appearing in front of the Liaison Committee of senior MPs, Mr Sunak said: “I have always tried to announce what I can in Parliament.”

On his decision to miss the vote on whether Mr Johnson lied to MPs in order to attend a Jewish Care dinner event, he said: “I chose to fulfil my obligation to an incredible charity, for whom that is one of their significant fundraising moments of the year.”

And he defended missing the next two Prime Minister’s Questions appearances to attend an NHS 75th anniversary service on Wednesday and the Nato summit next week.

Mr Sunak said that even if he was not attending the NHS event, he might be expected to attend a ceremony involving the King in Scotland.

He told Labour MP Sir Chris: “Your view is that I should not be attending the NHS celebration, or the King’s coronation celebration in Scotland or indeed the Nato summit?

“That’s a perfectly reasonable point of view, but it’s worth pointing out the Leader of the Opposition also will be speaking at the NHS church service on Wednesday.”

Mr Sunak told Sir Chris said he had not fully read a Privileges Committee report on allies of Mr Johnson seeking to undermine the work of the panel during its investigation into the former prime minister.

Tory peer Lord Goldsmith quit as a minister after Mr Sunak asked him to apologise after being named in the report.

The Prime Minister said: “I’ve read the findings of the report, I haven’t read the report yet cover to cover.”

Asked if the Tory MPs named in the report should apologise, Mr Sunak said there was a difference because of Lord Goldsmith’s position as a minister.


The Prime Minister denied claims that a “blob” of civil servants is hindering ministers’ efforts to govern.

He was asked by Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee chairman William Wragg if he recognised “alarming reports of a ‘blob’ wandering down Whitehall thwarting ambitions of ministers”.

The Prime Minister told the Commons Liaison Committee: “No. It doesn’t come from me.

“I’ve always been supported by incredibly hard-working and diligent civil servants who responded to what I needed and worked all hours day and night to deliver what I’ve wanted.”

The Prime Minister said he is yet to receive predecessor Liz Truss’s resignation honours list.

And asked by Tory MP Mr Wragg if he thinks it would be appropriate to produce his own resignation honours list when he leaves office, Mr Sunak said: “It is not something I’m focused on.”

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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 year ago

I think the MP for Rhondda was asking too much of Sunack…. you can’t expect an oily, scummy, corrupt, nasty, spiteful, deluded and vile little cretin like Sunack to have respect for Parliament…

….and of course, there is the other side of it. Given that Westminster is a nest of oily, scummy, corrupt, nasty, spiteful, deluded and vile little cretins, is Sunack actually disrespecting that vile system or is he in actual fact a shinning example of the kind of people it is run by and therefore in fact a paragon of Westminster virtues?

1 year ago

‘Sir Chris’ how about showing respect for our Parliament, the Senedd and not try to keep all powers in Westminster for your own selfish benefit?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 year ago

He cares more about Modi ji than the King of England…

Indian Summer takes on new meaning…

‘Two trains travelling on this line’ to borrow from Little Feat…

Last edited 1 year ago by Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 year ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

To make sense of that see ‘Prime Minister Rishi Sunak UK-India Speech’ on YouTube…

George Thomas
George Thomas
1 year ago

Lord Goldsmith gets voted out as an MP but ends up in the House of Lords and takes up a government role – not a massive stink. A cricket player wants to decide when the over is done rather than waiting for the umpire to do so, an opposition cricket player takes advantage – 3+ days of stink in some circles. Sunak chooses an NHS event and royal visit (yuck!) as part of the campaign trail rather than attending Westminster – Bryant wants there to be a stink. It’s just a bit bonkers isn’t it, what the “ruling class” think… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 year ago

Cut the guy some slack, show me another, other than the three Labour lady frontbenchers, Plaid and SNP MP’s who land a blow on Sunak and his psychopathic ministers…

Clark Kent missing for a reason…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 year ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Caroline Lucas too of course…

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