News | Published May 27 2020

Johnson to appear before Commons Liaison Committee for the first time

Prime minister Boris Johnson will face scrutiny from the Commons Liaison Committee for the first time since taking office.

The Commons Liaison Committee is the only one able to question the prime minister and is due to convene via video conference at 16:30 BST on Wednesday.

Johnson was scheduled to face the committee in October 2019 but opted to pull out of the session in order to “focus on delivering Brexit” at the time.

Comprised of 37 Conservative, Labour and SNP MPs, the committee’s members are expected to quiz the prime minister mainly on the government’s response to the Covid-19 crisis after its chairman Sir Bernard Jenkin called the sitting last week.

Sir Bernard said that the prime minister had become “more personally accountable than usual” in the wake of the crisis, which he said caused a “centralisation of power”.

Since the committee meeting was called, revelations have emerged over the conduct of the PM’s senior aide Dominic Cummings, meaning Johnson is also likely to face questions over Cummings’ actions and indeed his own choice to back his top adviser over his controversial trip to County Durham during the lockdown.

Since details emerged that Cummings drove 260 miles from London to County Durham with his child and ill wife during the lockdown, over 35 Conservative MPs have joined opposition MPs in calls for Cummings to be sacked, with junior minister Douglas Ross resigning over the controversy.

Cummings has rigorously defended his position, saying that he acted responsibly and legally and does not regret his actions.

Participants in the committee meeting alongside Sir Bernard and the PM include Labour MPs Hilary Benn and Sarah Champion, Conservative MPs Karen Bradley and Greg Clark, and Pete Wishart of the SNP.

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Authored by

Alexander Bridge-Wilkinson
Junior Editor
May 27 2020

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