Part of Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:02 pm on 2nd February 2022.

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Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party, The Prime Minister 12:02 pm, 2nd February 2022

Of course we despise fraud and those who steal from the taxpayer, which is why we have already recovered £743 million in lost furlough money and £2.2 billion that was stolen in bounce back loans, and we will go on. But I have to tell you, Mr Speaker, that I am proud of what this Government and this country did: securing record quantities of PPE in record time, and furloughing and looking after the entirety of British business and society in the way that we did.

Once again, Captain Hindsight comes to this House and attacks the Government for doing exactly what he urged us to do 18 months ago. Mr Speaker, it so happens that I have been rustling in my notes and I have found a letter dated 22 April 2020—which I will place for your convenience in the Library of the House—from the shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves, to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, my right hon. Friend Michael Gove, suggesting that we could secure PPE supplies from a theatrical costumier and get ventilators from a professional football agent. No wonder fraud was running at £21 billion a year under Labour. I am proud of what this Government did to secure PPE and I am proud of the way we protected this country.