The accusation came from 35-year-old Brighton MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, who was ordered to apologise by the speaker of the House, Sir Lindsay Hoyle.
Directly accusing a “Right Honourable Member” of the House of lying has long been considered un-Parliamentary language – hence Winston Churchill’s famous line that a rival politician had committed a “terminological inexactitude”, rather than a lie.
The exchange centred on the accusations Boris Johnson broke his own rules to have a drinks party during lockdown.
Labour leader Kier Starmer was dismissed during the debate as being merely “a lawyer, not a leader” by Mr Johnson, prompting Mr Russell-Moyle to say: RM: Given that he had groups of people singing to him when gatherings indoors were illegal and communal singing was banned, my constituents think that he has lied. My constituents think that he lied to this House and my constituents think he lied to them when he was partying and telling them all...
Speaker: Order. You can say in passing what your constituents say, but you cannot continue to labour that one point.
RM: So, I would prefer to be led by a lawyer than by a liar. Will the Prime Minister now resign?
Speaker: Order. The honourable gentleman will be withdrawing that last comment.
LM: I withdraw it. That is what my constituents think, not my view.
Prime Minister: I am afraid the honourable gentleman, in everything he said just now, plainly does not know what he is talking about. What I can tell him and his constituents is that, irrespective of what they want to focus on — and I understand why they do — this Government are going to get on with the job and deliver for the people of this country.
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