Apparently it’s fine to lie through your teeth in parliament if you’re Boris Johnson – as long as you’re not wearing chinos or jeans while doing it. That’s what people on Twitter are inferring the House of Commons speaker’s new rules mean. And they’re not happy.
BBC News tweeted:
MPs told to smarten up their clothing ahead of Commons return https://t.co/vpHuFM69TW
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) September 5, 2021
It reported that House of Commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle has updated the rules on “behaviour and courtesies” for MPs. This includes a dress code. The Times‘ Matt Chorley gave a helpful list on Twitter of just what Hoyle was telling MPs they couldn’t wear:
❌ No chinos
❌ No joggers
❌ No bare shoulders
❌ No extra-large handbags
❌ No singing
❌ No clapping
❌ No scrolling through phones
Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle gets tough on post-Covid fashion with a new rule book for MPshttps://t.co/6yxXGmfxwP
— Matt Chorley (@MattChorley) September 4, 2021
Hoyle’s new rules specifically say that MPs should wear “business attire”, and if they don’t then the speaker can boot them out. But on Twitter, many people spotted an issue with Hoyle’s rules of conduct: namely the tolerance of Johnson’s repeated lying:
And yet they’re allowed to lie with impunity- what a joke – with the PM the biggest offender. No accountability, no consequence, no recourse . #shameful #lies #johnsonlies @CommonsSpeaker @hbaldwin https://t.co/aPaKDUEO5q
— MirandaPanda (@mirandadavies01) September 5, 2021
But it’s OK to lie? https://t.co/bPMZuKHoeZ
— Maria Carroll #No Child Left Behind (@Maria4CarmsEast) September 5, 2021
— Moyra Grant (@moyra_grant) September 5, 2021
That Johnson video
Peter Stefanovic’s video that documents Johnson’s lies has now had nearly had 34m views. And he was not impressed with Hoyle, either:
Whilst the @CommonsSpeaker insists clothing such as jeans & chinos are not allowed in the House of Commons on its return tomorrow 33.8 MILLION have watched the Prime Minister’s rampant unchallenged lying.
Let’s get our priorities sorted Mr Speaker https://t.co/z0W7uYuS61
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) September 5, 2021
As Bywire News reported, Johnson’s untruths included:
Claim 5: On the 17th of June 2020, during PMQs [Prime Minister’s Questions], the Prime Minister said “There are hundreds of thousands, I think 400,000, fewer families living in poverty now than there were in 2010”.
This is not true. A parliamentary watchdog already issued Johnson with a warning over his previous lies about poverty. Moreover, some of the media, like Good Morning Britain and Sky News, have reported on Stefanovic’s video. But the BBC specifically hasn’t.
Byline Times writer Brian Cathcart believes it’s because the public service broadcaster has “blacklisted” Stefanovic’s video. He called it “perverse” that the BBC would do that, noting:
Is the BBC afraid of setting a precedent of placing itself under an obligation to report every political video that achieves 33 million views? It’s a feeble argument, but if it does believe that why doesn’t it say so? Does it doubt Stefanovic’s motives? Does it believe that the number of views has been fiddled? Again pretty daft, but again, let it say it.
For the moment, the BBC looks about as bad as it could: as though it has blacklisted someone for criticising the Prime Minister.
So, if our public service broadcaster doesn’t care about (or is actively trying to hide) the PM’s lying, why should the speaker be bothered? He clearly isn’t, given that his priority seems to be what MPs are wearing in parliament. Moreover, one of his deputies threw Labour MP Dawn Butler out of parliament for calling Johnson a liar. And Hoyle himself has done little to address Johnson’s lies since telling him off in March. So it’s left to social media, some of the corporate press, and Stefanovic to keep bringing the PM’s lies to the public’s attention.
Featured image via Sky News – YouTube
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