Labour DEMANDS: The three things the party is calling for after lobbying scandal

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The Labour Party has moved in hard on the Government in the wake of the Owen Paterson lobbying scandal, in which Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended the disgraced MP for breaching parliamentary rules. The PM ordered Conservative Party MPs to back the dismantling of the current standards system and to prevent Mr Paterson’s suggested 30-day suspension from the House of Commons – a move which has done catastrophic repetitional damage to the Tories and to Parliament.

This afternoon MPs will meet for an emergency debate on MP’s standards following the scandal last week, which later saw Mr Paterson quit his role as an MP amid the backlash.

Ahead of the emergency Commons debate on standards at Westminster, Sir Keir said Mr Johnson needed to act to clean up politics.

The Labour leader will front the response to the debate beginning at 3.30pm.

The Opposition leader is calling for three acts from the Prime Minister – who will not be attending the debate due to being in Glasgow for COP26.

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Labour has requested the Prime Minister return for the debate.

Sir Keir said: “Boris Johnson needs to attend this debate, answer for his mistakes, apologise to the country and take action to undo the damage he has done.

“The country is yet to hear a word of contrition over his attempts to create one rule for him and his friends and another for everyone else.

“He must now come to the House and say sorry.”

What is Keir Starmer calling for?

The Labour Party wants Mr Johnson to rule out giving Mr Paterson a peerage into the House of Lords – something Number 10 has already ruled out.

Secondly, Sir Keir will ask for a commitment to an investigation into the COVID-19 contracts given to Randox, the firm Mr Paterson undertook consultancy work for alongside his role as an MP.

The diagnostics company was awarded a coronavirus testing contract worth £133 million at the start of the pandemic, just days before Government officials confirmed it did not have enough equipment to fulfil the contract.

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The Labour leader said it was “vital the public has confidence that Owen Paterson’s paid advocacy did not influence these decisions”.

The Labour Party will also urge the PM to kick out another disgraced MP.

Rob Roberts, Delyn in North Wales, has been readmitted to the party after a 12-week suspension after he was found to have sexually harassed a member of his staff.

The MP insisted his actions were “romantic”, as opposed to sexual.

Sir Keir said: “It is disgraceful that Mr Roberts has been welcomed back as both a member of parliament and the Conservative Party despite having been found to have sexually harassed a junior member of staff.

“That he was able to aid and abet the prime minister in his attempts to corrupt British politics last week should be a source of shame to the Tories.

“The Prime Minister was prepared to rip up the system to save one of his disgraced MPs – why will he not take action to protect others from this one?”

Deputy Labour Leader Angela Rayner has described Mr Roberts being reinstated as a Tory party member as “a disgrace”.

Mr Roberts now sits as an independent MP as the party whip has not been restored.

The Prime Minister is facing a barrage from all sides, with former prime minister John Major saying this weekend he believes recent behaviour of Mr Johnson’s Government could be considered “politically corrupt”.

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