Watch: Welsh Conservative MP asked the same Boris Johnson question five times in Newsnight grilling
A Welsh Conservative MP was asked the same question about whether the Prime Minister should resign if found to broken the ministerial code five times in a Newsnight Grilling.
Brecon and Radnorshire MP Fay Jones, who was among the new intake under Boris Johnson’s premiership at the 2019 General Election, said that she would not answer a “hypothetical question”.
Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark ended up asking her the same question five times, with no direct answer.
“Let’s have the investigation, let’s find out”
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) April 21, 2022
“So if we get to the bottom of it, and find that the Prime Minister has broken the ministerial code, then you accept that that is a massive problem for you,” the presenter asked. “If anyone is found to have lied to Parliament, should they resign?”
“Look, you’re giving me a hypothetical question,” Fay Jones responded.
“I’m giving you a principle question,” Kirtsy Wark said. “I’m asking a generality. If anyone is found to have lied to Parliament, should they resign – in general? Should they resign?”
“Well, look I want to have this investigation,” Fay Jones said. “I want to know…”
“Yes but if the result of this investigation is that Boris Johnson has found to broken the ministerial code. If he is found to have relied to Parliament, therefore, the general question is and the general principle is, should they resign?” Kirsty Wark continued.
“Amber Rudd phone she broken the ministerial code inadvertently, she resigned. If it is found that Boris Johnson broke the ministerial code, should he resign?”
Fay Jones responded: “Look, ss I say, I don’t believe he has. But let’s have that investigation. Let’s find out and I fully expect the Prime Minister to comply as he has done over the last few weeks and months.”
“So I wonder what your constituents make of that answer because I’m asking you for an answer,” Kirsty Wark said. “There’s not a political question. It is not a political question is a question of principle and the way that Parliament operates.
“If Boris Johnson is found to have broken the ministerial code, if he is found to have lied to Parliament, should he resign?”
Fay Jones responded: “Well, look, I think I’m being quite clear, I’ve said that the Prime Minister has accepted it accepted the conclusion of Metropolitan Police.
“And I know that the Prime Minister will continue to comply, continue to engage, and we’ll see where this process goes. I agree with the principle you’re trying to make but let’s see where this goes.”
The interview had echoes of Jeremy Paxman’s famous interview with Michael Howard in 1997 during which the presenter asked the then Conservative leadership contender the same question, ‘did you threaten to overrule him?’, 12 times.
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