Boris Johnson accused of misleading parliament over Labour MP's remarks

Sir Lindsay Hoyle in the House of Commons

Sir Lindsay Hoyle in the House of Commons - Credit: Jessica Taylor

Boris Johnson has been accused of “misleading” MPs by claiming a Labour frontbencher’s 200-day-old comments on quarantine measures were recent.

The prime minister told the Commons that shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon had “only recently” said quarantine measures should be eased.

His remark was made during Prime Minister’s Questions as he criticised Labour for repeatedly supporting one approach and then changing its mind during the pandemic.

But McMahon said: “Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to raise a point of order in relation to what I believe was a misleading statement made by the prime minister yesterday.”

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle intervened to advise McMahon he could not accuse another MP of “misleading” the House deliberately, adding the word “inadvertently” would be a “nicer way of dealing with it”.

McMahon replied: “I’m more than happy to take that advice, Mr Speaker.”

Referring to the prime minister, the Labour MP added: “He said it was only recently that the shadow transport secretary was saying that quarantine measures should be relaxed, he went on to repeat a similar comment.

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“Firstly, it relates to a statement made over 200 days ago in July last year, nothing at all to do with current regulations or our current Covid rate.

“And it was in response to the government themselves lifting quarantine restrictions for a list of countries where we were critical of the government for failing to have a proper track and trace system, failing to do pre-screening and testing on arrival.

“So far from calling for relaxation, we were actually criticising the government for its own failings and I think the record should be put straight.”

Sir Lindsay said he hoped the government benches will have picked up on McMahon’s comments, which were now on the record.

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