Ministerial Code

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:35 pm on 26th April 2021.

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Photo of Wes Streeting Wes Streeting Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools) 3:35 pm, 26th April 2021

We all know that the delay in locking down the country in lockdown one, lockdown two and lockdown three led to a higher toll in both lives and livelihoods. What I do not think anyone expected was to read on the front page of the Daily Mail today that the Prime Minister had said:

“Let the bodies pile high in their thousands.”

The claim has been subsequently verified independently by other journalists. The Minister takes statements that he makes at the Dispatch Box more seriously than the Prime Minister does, so may I ask him again to be absolutely categorical that he has never heard the Prime Minister say those words, that the Prime Minister did not say those words, and that, prior to arriving in the House this afternoon, he received assurances from the Prime Minister that he did not use those words? Can he be absolutely clear, straightforward and honest about that?