In a powerful speech delivered in the House of Commons today, Simon Lightwood, the Labour Member of Parliament for Wakefield, expressed his grave concerns about the conduct of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Lightwood’s speech coincided with the release of the fifth report from the Committee of Privileges, which revealed damning evidence of deliberate misleading of the House by Johnson.
Addressing the House, Lightwood began by acknowledging the significance of the moment, as it marked his first anniversary as a Member of Parliament. He expressed his hope that this would be an opportunity to rebuild trust in politics. Lightwood extended his gratitude to the Leader of the House and the shadow Leader of the House for their attentive presence during the debate, recognising the rarity of such engagement.
Reflecting on his election campaign in Wakefield a year ago, Lightwood emphasised that the electorate desired not only a fresh start but also the removal of Boris Johnson from office due to a lack of trust. He highlighted the deep sense of betrayal felt by constituents who had lost loved ones while Johnson attended parties. Lightwood emotionally recounted the heart-wrenching stories he had heard from grieving individuals who had experienced their last conversation or text message with family members. The pain etched in their eyes remains a lasting memory for the Wakefield MP.
Lightwood underscored that the scathing revelations in the Committee of Privileges report did not surprise the majority of the country. He described deliberately misleading the House and the Privileges Committee as serious and troubling conclusions, indicative of a disturbing pattern of behavior. He stressed that these findings only confirmed what the people of Wakefield had already concluded a year ago when they decisively rejected the Tories.
Directing his comments to those on the Government Benches, Lightwood urged them to consider public opinion. Citing a recent YouGov poll, he highlighted that 69% of respondents believed that Boris Johnson knowingly misled Parliament. Lightwood called for a decisive line to be drawn.
Expressing his support for the Privileges Committee report, Lightwood thanked the committee members for their diligent work despite facing abuse, including from the former Prime Minister himself. He pledged to vote in favour of the report, standing up for those who had shared their stories with him and for the principles of public life, democracy, and truth. He expressed his intent to vote on behalf of former NHS colleagues, key workers, and all those who had sacrificed greatly.
In a frank and straightforward manner, Lightwood labelled Boris Johnson as a liar, asserting that he would never be forgiven. He issued a stern warning to those defending Johnson or shirking their moral duty, stating that their actions or inaction would not be forgotten. Lightwood hoped that the report would signal the end of a damaging chapter in Parliament’s history, drawing a comparison to the Trumpian era.
Turning his attention to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Lightwood called on him to display integrity, professionalism, and accountability. He criticised the use of taxpayers’ money to support Johnson’s ongoing lies and demanded that every penny be repaid in light of the Committee’s findings. Concluding his speech, Lightwood emphasised that the public was closely observing the developments.
As the debate continues to unfold, Lightwood’s passionate words echo the sentiments of many who seek accountability and a restoration of trust in the highest echelons of British politics. The report from the Committee of Privileges serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by the nation as it seeks to heal and move forward.