tv BBC World News Outside Source PBS January 19, 2022 5:00pm-5:31pm PST
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announcer: and now, "bbc world news". ♪ ros: i'm ros atkins. welcome to "outside source." as you can see, we have come to downing street. pressure continueso pile on boris johnson to quit. >> you have sat there too long for the good you have done. in the name of god, go. >> doesn't the country deserve so much better than this out of touch, out of ideas, and sue to be out of office prime minister? ros: it was a dramaticrime minister's questions, as you can tell, not least because one conservative mp defected to the opposition. boris johnson continues to defend his record. prime minister johnson: we have
more people in employment, more employees on the payroll there and there were before the pandemic began. that is what my staff have been working on in downing street. ros: some are refusing -- accusing boris johnson of misleading. the leader of the scottish conservatives says the number of letters needed to oust the prime minister is close. 54 would be needed to trigger a leadership vote. also, we will see how boris johnson reach this level of political peril. his career has set up a downs, but he is prime minister. he is a politician. what he has to do if he is to carry on an office. boris johnson's position as prime minister continues to be
perilous, in the hands of his own mp's, after days of public anger about those parties that were held during lockdown in downing street. this is the former brexiteer rick perry david davis. >> i spent weeks and months defending the prime minister from often angry constituents. i reminded them of his success in brexit, many other things. but i expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for the actions they take. yesterday, he did the opposite of that, so i will remind him of a quotation all too familiar to him of leo avery to neville chamberlain. you have sat thereoo long for the good that you have done. in the name of god, go. ros: there is david davis, a former cabinet minister calling on the prime minister to go.
he worked alongside boris johnson in getting brexit supported by the country. this is how the prime minister responded. >> order. prime minister prime minister johnson: i must say, i don't know what he is talking about. i don't know what quotation he is alluding to. what i can tell him, and i think i have told this house repeatedly, throughout this pandemic, i take full responsibility for everything done in this government and throughout the pandemic. ros: the mood toward boris johnson is certainly hardened after comments he made yesterday. he said he had not been told about a drinking party held in the garden at number 10 durham england's first lockdown, an event that may have broken covid rules. there were plenty of heated exchanges with keir starmer on just this issue. >> first he said there were no
parties. then the video blew that defense out of the water. next he said he was sicker than furious when he found out about the parties, until it turned out that he himself was at the downing street garden party. then last week, he said he didn't realize it was a party. surprise, surprise, nobody believed it. so this week, he has a new defense. nobody warned me it was against the rules. that is it. nobody told him. [laughter] since the prime minister wrote the rules, why on earth does he think this new defense is going to work for him? prime minister johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. he talks about the rules. let me repeat what i said to the honorable lady across the aisle earlier on. ofourse, we must wait for the outcome of the inquiry.
i renew what i have said. ros: let's speak to the bbc political correspondent. there might be some people watching thinking, what happened? 24 hours ago, there was extensive reporting that the moment might be nigh. >> just last nightmultiple reports and speculation going on that the threshold may have been reached to reach a vote of no-confidence in the prime minister. that crucial 54 letters of no-confidence that need to be submitted to the chair of the 1922 committee, the committee that oversees tory leadership contests needed to trigger a vote of no-confidence in the prime minister. there have been some interesting developments. we have seen other tory mps come out of the woodwork to express their calls on the prime minister to resign, like david davis.
however, there have been other things that have changed the mood slightly within the tory party. the defection of one mpd, christine week heard, to the labour party, interestingly, has seemed to unite critics and supporters of boris johnson, feeling like this was not the right approach for him to do, to express his discontent with t prime minister this evening. i heard from one former minister who is not a fan of the prime minister and the way he has handled the events, saying that his behavior was not appropriate. also fell ahead mp's elected in 2019 saying they feel a sense of betrayal, let down by the fact that he has defected to the opposition. in politics, the theater of it today, we have had a plot twist from an unexpected character in the form of christine week heard. ros: let's pick up on the point you are talking about, this
defection by the conservative mp. it was just a before prime minister's questions. [cheering] ros: that is christian weight heard crossing the floor and joining his new colleagues in the opposition labour party. as you might imagine, he was welcomed by the labor leader, sir keir starmer. >> like so many people up and down the country, he has concluded that the prime minister of the conservative party that showed himself incapable of operating the leadership in government this country deserves, whereas the labour party stands ready to provide alternative government that the country can be proud of. ros: here is christian wakeford himself talkg about his decision. >> far too many issues where i thout we were on the wrong side, and compromise is not a dirty word but it is possible to
compromise too far, wn it is getting to a point where it is difficult to explain some of these issues. it is wrong. the moment, we have a party doing things that are indefensible andoing so bluntly. that is not fair and does not respect the country or office. ros: as you would imagine, this is not gone done well with some conservatives. his predecessor in the seat, david sundberg held it for the conservatives between 1993 and 1997. he has not been impressed. >> to be honest, i find it difficult to take him seriously because only a couple of days ago he was, as a conservative mp thenputting in a boat, letter to graham brady asking for a vote of no-confidence in the prime minister. a few mohs ago i saw on bbc
today he was speaking in-house, saying the labour party could not possibly represen working people. they were incapable of doing it. if he has had a conversion to socialism, it's been a very short route. i think he has made a wrong decision. i think he will regret it. he can have his day in the sun today. he will be leading the news broadcasts, he will be a very popular guy, but in two or three months time, christian who is what people will say. ros: we will see where he ends up in three or four months time, but what about the situation right now? he has concluded that a party that tolerates boris johnson as leader is not one that he wants to be in. can you understand why he has doubts about mr. johnson's leadership given everything that happened during lockdown? >> i can understand it, and he
took a course of action as a conservative mp to change the leadership of the conservative party. but i cannot understand him suddenly having a conversion to the labour party, that they are the solutions to the problems of boris johnson. it doesn't make sense. it seems to me he is all over the shop. only two years in the house of commons when many dedicated people went out and not only voted for him but actuay worked hard to get him elected. they will find his decision quite extraordinary. ros: let's talk about barry south. the prime minister was making much about the fact that the conservative won it in 2019. ellis about the constituency and the conservative party's relationship with constituents. it's not a place historically that your party has done well. >> it is a bellwether seat, created in 1983 when i was
elected. ever since then, it has determined who rules britain. there are many of those seats in the northwest of england. barry south is one of them. ros: the conservatives have lost one mp, crossed over to the labour party. in practical terms, doesn't make a huge difference to boris johnson's situation because that is still in the hands of the remaining conservative mps. let me explain how they may go about getting rid of the prime minister, should they want to. this is the method the conservative party uses. you have to have a vote of no-confidence by the party's mp's. 53% have to request that by sending a letter to a man called graham brady. he is the head of the 1922 committee which represents tory mps. there are 360 of them at the moment. 54 letters are needed to trigger a vote, but that is not the end of the matter. the process is confidential, so
only graham brady knows how many letters have been received. some are saying it is close. the leader of the scottish conservatives, douglas ross, thinks the number of 54 is insight. >> i think it is near. members can submit letters and withdrawal lette. i know there is a significant operation going encouraging colleagues who who may have submitted later to withdraw again. we are on a bit of a roller coaster ride, going up and down, but most believee are getting closer to the 54 number then further away. ros: let's hear from one of the conservative mps who says he has submitted a letter. >> i think sue gray's report has been much touted but delayed. honestly, the workload she has got now is almt more than when she started because of the constant drip of more allegations and alleged evidence. when is this report actually going to come out?
in the meantime, the prime minister and effectively the government are paralyzed with every lever of government being used to defend the prime minister. that is not e job of government, we are here to serve the people. ros: a vote going ahead against boris johnson does not actually mean it would be the end of his time as conservative leader or prime minister. if they trigger a no-confidence vote, then 50% of those tory mps would need to vote against boris johnson. that would end his time as prime minister's. if the mps vote in support of him, he stays as party leader, prime minister, and more than that, there can be no further votes triggered for another 12 mohs, so his position would be arguably stronger. mark prichard says he is not worried about mr. johnson's future. >> i think the prime minister's performance today was robust, strong. many colleagues that i spoke to
have said, look, perhaps we need to give sue gray time to report. the british people are fair-minded, they are just people. they might say, why are people trying to encourage other mps to put a letter in before the quiry is reported? ros: let's bring you back in. we heard a reference to sue gray. for people around the world who have not been following every twist and turn of the story, remind us where she fits into this. >> sue gray is one of the top civil service here in the u.k. she has been allocated the role of investigating all of these different allegations of alleged parties in downing street, other government departments during coronavirus restrictions, both in 2020 and 2021. the reason this report is so significant, it is a fact-finding exercise. her report will set out exactly what the events were, what the purpose was, who was in
attendance, and what the coronavirus restrictions were in place at the time. she is not a judge, she is not passed the legal system in the u.k., so she cannot say whether anyone at these parties broke the law. that would be a matter for the legal system. but she can say whether any of the events that took place last year were, in her opinion, in breach of the rules and place at the time. not only is it the report that ministers and prime minister's himself have said that everyone must wait for before casting judgment, but there are a number of conservative mps who are not happy with the prime minister's handling of the whole situation, who feel they need to t this run it's course. they are also iting for this report to be made public, to read the details in full, before they decide what their next course of action will be to express their unhappiness with the prime minister and how he has handled all of this. ros: always good to have you on "outside source."
thank you for your help. remember, it is not just an issue of what events happened, what rules were broken, if any. it's also an issue of was boris johnson morant that they could break the rules? some of his former colleagues including dominic cummings say that he was told about the event and that it was a problem. the prime minister says he was never warned. we will see if sue gray takes a position on that. in a few minutes, we will come back to the story and look in detail at one block of conservative mps, a group who came into parliament in 2019 and held seats traditionally held by the labour party, who may be moving against the prime minister. ♪
>> it is going to be only america first. america first. >> demonstrators waiting for him and h cricketeam were attacked by tear gas and by police dogs. anti-apartheid campaigners says they will carry on the protest throughout the tour. >> they called him the butcher of lyon. the westerman's mom to exit out him for crimes committed in wartime france. >> millions came as close as possible to this spot, a tide of humanity that is believed to have broken all records. ♪
ros: i'm ros atkins. we are live in downing street, as you can see, as the pressure on boris johnson continues to build. there has been a high-profile call for him to quit from david davis. as we have been discussing, boris johnson's future is controlled by his own mps. they are the onethat can build a trigger that trigger a vot no-confidence. one group in particular is a focus. they have been stating something of a mutiny in the past 24 hours. these were mps elected in 2019. the whole thing has been called the pork pie block. many of them represent labor heartland seats, known as redwall seats. more than 20 of them have met to discuss ousting the prime minister. one mp told the bbc they are so
angry, they invested so much faith into boris johnson, they are like a jilted lover. let's talk to a former conservative redwall advisor that has worked with a number of redwall mps during their campaigns. he is with me now in central london. thank you for your time. the you think they are right to get rid of the prime minister? >> i don't think they are trying to get rid of the prime minister. what i would say has happened, they have gone home to their constituencies and they have been pretty shocked by the reaction. i think that has scared them into real change of tone we have seen over the last couple of days. on top of that, as well, from a peer communication standpoin the redwall mps were not impressed with the interview. i have set on many occasions now, boris johnson is a rare politician in the sense that he
can rip his tie up, sit on the sofa, bypass trational media sources and he can speak from the heart and come out with a real human genuine apology. he could have gotten ahead of this before the redwall mps went home. what we are seeing today is -- i think the feeling among redwall mps is that we need boris to wake up here. that feeling has been around a while. ros: hold on a minute. you can give the most sincere apology you would like, sit on the sofa and take your tie off, but first you have to accept that what you've done is wrong, parties that were taking place in the buildings behind me were inappropriate. so far, boris' language has not been as categorical as the language i just used. >> i think boris performed really well today actually in the house of commons.
if you look at the conservative benches, between last week and this week, they were a lot louder this week in their support of the prime minister. but you are right. that level of contrition that could turn around those left behind communities -- and this is my real point. these were communities left behind for generations. boris johnson was their guy -- ros: can i ask you, you are wanting more contrition from the prime minister, but what about the simple fact that this stuff happened at number 10? isn't that enough for someone like you to think that this is not a man worthy of leading this party or leading this country? >> to be perfectly frank, my opinion is not particularly important or of interest. i do know a lot of the redwall mps have had a frustration with the mechanics of number 10 for some time. they are hoping -- i know i
sound boring -- once the sue gray report is allowed to do its work, there is a rooted branch to the mechanics at number 10. ros: we will leave it there. there is more we need to discuss. there are many issues that we need to unpack related to boris johnson's situation. thank you for joining us. boris johnson has built his reer on being a more callable character than most politicians. that has brought ups and downs. he has been mayor of london, now prime minister. he became prime minister in 2019 after theresa may's downfall, which he was partly critical for, and then in the general election, he use the election slogan "get brexit done." this is one way that he spread the message, using that digger to smash through a wall.
boris johnson was returned to power with a huge conservative majority. he turned some historic labor seats blue. this is from election night. prime minister johnson: your hand may have quivered over the ballot paper, before you put your cross in the conservative box, and you may return to labour next time around. and if that is the case, i am humbled that you would put your trust in me, and that you have put your trust in us. ros: that was two and half years ago. boris johnson won the election in 2019. since then, there have been a number of controversies around his leadership. there were questions around when patterson and the lobbying. mr. patterson was the tory mp who reside in november. he had broken lobbying rules, was facing suspension, but then the conservatives sought to
postpone that by changing the way the rules worked, in order to get that suspension pushed back. that decision has to be reversed after a furious backlash. i'm sure you remember that. you'll also know about the parties and gatherings that have taken place here at number 10 during the pandemic. allegations concerning at least 11 of them, including that bring your own booze event in the downing street garden when england was under that first lockdown. that led to this apology in parliament last week. prime minister johnson: white went into that jargon -- garden in may two think groups of stat before going into my office 25 minutes later to continue working, i believed implicitly that this was a work event. ros: let's get further analysis on the point the prime minister has reached. here is our u.k. political correspondent. >> it is too obvious.
a total of 54 letters, will it be reached between some time and now? and then looking at when the report comes up by the senior government official into what has been going on with lockdown violations, which the prime minister has said would be next week. if we get to 54 in the next few days, or the report. ros: given how febrile the reporting around this story was last night, you would imagine the prime minister and his allies are relatively happy with the point they reached this evening. >> absolutely. what you hear from conservative mps -- again, it is incredibly hard to say. the momentum has slightly moved back toward the prime minister surviving. ros: but the fundamental questions about those gatherings at parties at number 10 have not gone away, which is why the political pressure on boris
johnson here at downing street has also not gone away. thanks for narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... narror: financial services firm, raymond james. narrator: funding was also provided by, the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ ♪ narrator: you're watching pbs. ♪ da-da-da-duh-da-da-da♪ ♪ da-da-da-da-da-da ♪♪
♪ ♪ narrator: funding for this presentation of this program provided by... narrator: pediatric surgeon. volunteer. topiary artist. a raymond james financial advisor tailors advice to help you live your life. life well planned. narrator: funding was also provided by, the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from