Boris Johnson laments ‘mistake’ in MPs sleaze row

Boris Johnson has apologised for his part in escalating the ongoing MPs sleaze row, during a sparky liaison committee session.

Pressed by Yvette Cooper (home affairs committee chair) on the PM’s own responsibility to set standards in parliament, Johnson conceded his own wrongdoing in attempting to overturn the standards committee report on Owen Paterson.

“I think it was a total mistake not to see that Owen’s breach of the rules… made any discussion about anything else impossible.”

The prime minister also faced an awkward encounter with the chair of the women and equalities committee, Caroline Nokes, who in recent days accused the PM’s father, Stanley Johnson, of sexual harassment.

Nokes pointedly asked the PM “if public sexual harassment was made a specific crime… you actually might see women with more confidence to come forward?

Johnson said: “I think that all women should have the confidence to come forward and denounce the harassment or crime against them that they have experienced”.