Boris Johnson faces new Tory demands for a personal apology. Red Wall MPs are insisting that he must know “right from wrong” and must make an immediate statement of regret.

With outrage at his extraordinary attempt to protect himself from being punished for lobbying, the PM has been caught in the middle of an uproarious storm.   

He instead travelled the 300-mile distance to Northumberland to visit a hospital No10 said was “long-planned”. Even though photos show that Johnson was able to return to London on time, he chose to not.

Hexham was given a short interview in which a turbulent premier did not apologize and also suggested there was nothing more to the matter. 

Interviews this morning with Dominic Raab (Deputy PM) also showed that Dominic Raab tried to flip the script on Labour, saying Keir Sterner should not be politicizing the situation. 

Steve Barclay was however sent by the Cabinet Office to deal with the backlash. Although expressing regret, Barclay also admitted it was a mistake linking reforms of Parliament’s antisleaze rules to Paterson’s.

A number of Conservative MPs stepped up to criticize the actions of Mr Johnson and his government.  

Mark Harper, former Tory chief whip said that if the captain makes a mistake, he should apologize to both the House and the public. It’s the right way to demonstrate leadership.

Worryingly to the PM, Members of the 2019 Intake – frequently seen as having owed their careers to his electoral win – joined the chorus.     

Mark Fletcher was a Tory member to the standards panel that recommended Mr Paterson’s suspension for 30 days. He said that he “would have been found in breach of the rules under any procedure you could create”.

Bolsover MP claimed that the majority of fellow colleagues across the House were determined to adhere to the rules and have good intentions.

He said, “But for those who break the rules the punishment must fit. Although I voted for the last week’s report, I wouldn’t hesitate to vote again.

“I’m sorry to say that it took me more than two years to understand the differences between right and wrong.

While the government appears to be in control, Chris Bryant (chair of Labour standards committee) insists that parliament must vote on behalf of its report about Mr Paterson’s activities. 

In the meantime, Johnson seems to have strengthened his No10 team, amid concerns it may be ‘failing’. He brought back Ben Gascoigne, an ex-aide, as deputy chief of staff.     

Instead of attending the Commons debate, Boris Johnson travelled 300 miles to Northumberland, near the Scottish border, on a visit to a hospital (pictured) that No10 claimed was 'long-planned'

Boris Johnson traveled 300 miles from London to Northumberland (pictured), to attend the Commons Debate.

Pictures suggest Mr Johnson still managed to get back to London in time to have come to the House, but chose not to

Photos suggest that Mr Johnson was able to return to London just in time for the House visit. However, he chose to not.

Owen Paterson

Boris Johnson

Wendy Chamberlain, Lib Dem (right), secured an emergency debate last evening and stated that events were more like the “Duma in Moscow” than Westminster. Left, Owen Paterson (file picture)

Tory Geoffrey Cox’s £1m legal earnings are condemned by Labour 

MPs traded blows about their second jobs – with Tory Geoffrey Cox under fire for his extraordinary £1million a year legal earnings.

Political leaders are getting infuriated at one another over the pay they receive. This is after the row about Boris Johnson’s unsuccessful bid to rescue Owen Paterson, an ally of his, from being punished for lobbying.

Today’s PM spoke out to say that he expects outside income to be considered for MPs. This is in addition to the recommendations made by the standards committee before Christmas.

Labour is pushing for paid directorships and consultancy roles to be banned – although Keir Starmer says nurses and other professions should be allowed to continue.

But the Tories have pointed out that a number of Opposition MPs also have some outside earnings alongside their salaries of around £82,000 a year. 

An eminent QC Mr. Cox has been a long-standing member of the Commons’ highest earners. 

In the latest register of interest, the Torridge and West Devon MP revealed that from this month he is receiving £400,000 a year plus VAT for 41 hours’ work a month as Consultant Global Counsel to Withers LLP.


Aaron Bell was one of the 50 Tory MPs who defied a whip from three lines last week on the issue. He said that his colleagues were placed in an “invidious” position by the government.

Bell stated that he was concerned about the Commons’ ‘overzealous application’ loyalty by Mr Paterson’s friends. This had led to the Commons taking the “extremely unfortunate” decision last Wednesday.

He stated that he was proud to be a part of 2019 Conservative MPs intake, also known as the “109”.

“I am sure that many of my close friends in this group have been through a terrible time since the election on Wednesday.”

“I’m sure many wish they’d voted differently, and feel guilty about it. But I tell them loyalty to your party is an admirable trait. It is a fact that this place, and indeed the entire political system of our country, wouldn’t be possible without it.

“But the fact is, my friends shouldn’t have been in such an invidious place.”

Mr Bell quoted Jill Mortimer (Conservative MP) as a WhatsApp message. She was elected Hartlepool representative in May.

He stated to the House that she believed this was a huge misjudgment and should not have been whipped.

“I could not agree more, and I hope that the Treasury bench listens.” We must return to the convention, where House business does not get whipped.

Bell spoke out about rebelling saying, “It churns your up beforehand and leaves it a little shell shocked afterwards.”

“Perhaps next year it will be more easy.”

Andy Carter, Conservative MP and another member the Standards Committee, supported Mr Paterson’s decision but recognized that certain parts of the system can be confusing.

He expressed concern that the code and current rules were too complex. But, it’s not about paid advocacy. This, I fear, is quite straightforward.

Mr Raab told BBC Breakfast today that everyone should be working for a ‘robust’ standards system.

He said, “I don’t believe the politicization by Labour Party, given the amount of money they take from unions is a particularly appealing look for KeirStarmer.”

“I feel that we need to be closer together in order to build public confidence in our institutions. This includes our work as MPs. We should also ensure we have a strong system to handle complaints, impropriety and fairness. We should all strive for that.

Yesterday, Johnson declined to speak out about the events that took place last week during his visit to Hexham General Hospital. When asked if he was sorry, Johnson replied that he didn’t believe there were much to say about this particular case.

The Daily Mail was informed last night by a Tory MP that he was near to writing a note of no confidence to Mr Johnson’s leadership. It would mark the beginning of a contest to succeed him. “This resonates with the public, and I am fed up of it,” said the MP. Boris won’t change and we will continue on to the end until the critical mass is reached to eliminate him. 

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Commons Speaker, stated that MPs must now’sort out our mess’. While Mr Barclay acknowledged that there were legitimate reasons to reform the Commons standard system, he also said it was wrong for the Government to tie it with Mr Paterson.

“I would like to first and foremost express my sorrow and those of my ministerial peers over the error made last week,” he stated.

Labour leader Sir Keir starmer stated that PM was “running scared” after giving ‘the greenlight for corruption’ to him by asserting that rules to end vested interest did not apply to his close friends.

He stated, ‘He doesn’t even possess the decency or ability to apologize for his actions.’ He said, “His concern is, as usual, self-preservation and not the national interests.”

Last week, Tory MPs were whipped to vote for a new committee that would reform anti-sleaze laws. The Government backed down after opposition parties refused to work with them.

Following the bitter outcome of the row Mr Paterson, who has denied wrongdoing, said he was quitting the post of North Shropshire MP. He blamed the “cruel world” of politics.

This was in response to a Commons Standards Committee recommendation that he should be expelled from Parliament for six consecutive weeks following a ‘egregious breach’ of centuries-old MPs ban against paid lobbying.

Mr Johnson chatted to patients at Hexham Hospital during his visit yesterday

Yesterday, Johnson visited Hexham Hospital and chatted with patients

Many Tory MPs stayed away from the debate as the party counts the cost of the decision to target the standards system

Many Tory MPs avoided the debate because the party is counting the cost of their decision to strike the standards system

An Ipsos MORI poll for the Evening Standard yesterday showed that the Tories have lost their lead and slipped behind Labour

Yesterday’s Ipsos MORI Poll for the Evening Standard revealed that Labour is now ahead of the Tories.

Resolving old scores The PM has had years of conflict with Kathryn Stone, sleaze watchdog 

Boris Johnson’s clash with Kathryn Stone, Commons standards commissioner Kathryn Stone was not the first instance of the Owen Paterson scandal. 

The relationship between them is not likely to improve as he faces another probe by watchdogs into the Wallpapergate controversy over his Grace-and-Favour Flat refurbishment and his refusal to declare on the Parliament Register his Marbella holiday ‘freebie’ 

Ms Stone has previously castigated the Prime Minister over a lavish £15,000 Caribbean holiday funded by Tory donors.

However, he was saved by punishment. He could have been suspended as the premier serving in the Commons. This would have happened because of the fact that she had overturned her ruling.

He was also pulled up by her for his ‘over-casual’ attitude to declaring personal financial interests to Parliament. This included a 6-figure share in an English country house.

Mr Johnson was dramatically cleared in the summer of breaking Commons rules over a ‘freebie’ trip to the millionaire’s playground of Mustique with Carrie – despite Ms Stone condemning his behaviour and the ‘unusual’ arrangements. 

Cross-party Standards Committee determined that the PM had given an accurate and complete declaration on December 2019. It stated it was a gift from David Ross, founder of Carphone Warehouse. The couple didn’t stay at his villa.

Chris Bryant, Labour MP for Labour, presided over the panel. She concluded that Johnson violated Code of Conduct for MPs. He had initially failed to explain his actions and was later found guilty of ignoring the consequences.

Also, the report suggested that Ross did not realize how the jaunt was funded until he reached Mustique. 

Ms Stone said she would consider whether or not to investigate the conduct of Mr Johnson when Tory donors first funded his lavish renovations at No11 Downing Street.

After the current investigation of the Electoral Commission has been completed, a decision is taken. 

Johnson faces a backlash for refusing the Commons register to report his recent trip to Lord Goldsmith’s luxurious villa near Marbella.

Another potential conflict with Ms Stone could arise from the decision to use ministerial register. This means that he doesn’t have to reveal the value of the gift.

MailOnline received information from a Commons source stating that because the villa belongs to the Goldsmith family, it can’t be treated as if it were a gift by Lord Goldsmith. That could make No10’s objections against the inclusion of it on MP register.