Watch: Welsh secretary Simon Hart’s ‘car crash’ interview
Welsh secretary Simon Hart MP didn’t enjoy the most auspicious moment of his career during today’s Sky News appearance with Kay Burley.
In fact many political pundits described it as ‘a car crash’.
In an exchange with the broadcaster about the fines issued to Downing Street, the Conservative MP appeared confused about how many fines had exactly been issued.
When pressed on the fact the Prime Minister is overseeing 50 breaches of the law being broken, Mr Hart said: “You know more about this than me, I don’t know where you got 50 from…
Burley replied: “From the police…” Before the Sky News presenter added: “Because 50 notices have already been issued. So, 50 times somebody has broken the law in Downing Street.”
Jeez! The car crash interview of the year. Cabinet Minister Simon Hart didn’t know there had been more then fifty fines issued by the police for law breaking in Downing Street!
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) April 14, 2022
In the same interview, Mr Hart also denied that Boris Johnson had deliberately misled people with his initial denials that he had attended any parties during lockdown.
“I know it always makes everybody frustrated. There is a difference between misleading and deliberately misleading.
“We heard all of that with Tony Blair and the Iraq War, if you remember, weapons of mass destruction? And the suggestion was at the time that he had misled Parliament.
“That was the suggestion and the argument was all around whether it was deliberate or whether it was accidental.”
In an interview with Times Radio today, the Welsh Secretary said he doesn’t think the Prime Minister should resign even if he receives multiple fines as a result of the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Hillman probe into the series of parties that were held in Downing Street during the Covid lockdown.
Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak were all issued with fines on Tuesday relating to a gathering in the Cabinet Room on 19 June 2020 to mark Mr Johnson’s 56th birthday.
Multiple newspapers have carried reports suggesting the Prime Minister could receive further fixed penalty notices.
Downing Street sources said they were awaiting the outcome of the ongoing Scotland Yard inquiry after Mr Johnson conceded more fines could follow, having reportedly attended six of the 12 events under investigation.
Mr Hart told Times Radio: “I don’t necessarily see the difference between one or two (fines), for example, the principle is the same.
“I personally don’t think that for people in public life – or any other walk of life, for that matter – that should necessarily be accompanied by another penalty, which is the removal of your job or similar.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.