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'In the name of God, go': Conservative MP tells Johnson as lawmaker defects to Labour

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By Lauren Chadwick  & Euronews
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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks on during a visit to Finchley Memorial Hospital, in North London, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks on during a visit to Finchley Memorial Hospital, in North London, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.   -   Copyright  Ian Vogler, Pool Photo via AP

A Conservative MP defected to the Labour party and another called for Boris Johnson to step down during Wednesday's raucous Prime Minister's Questions amid a parties scandal that threatens the PM's leadership.

Johnson urged British MPs again to wait for an independent inquiry from a civil servant whose report is expected at the end of the month.

The report will cover revelations that his office held work parties while the UK was under strict COVID-19 restrictions over the past two years.

But some Conservative MPs appear to have lost faith in the prime minister's ability to lead the country, with Bury South MP Christian Wakeford defecting to the Labour Party just ahead of PMQs.

Conservative MP David Davis said he had spent "weeks and months" defending Johnson to angry constituents.

"I expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for the actions they take. Yesterday he did the opposite of that," Davis told the prime minister.

Reminding him of a quotation of an MP to Neville Chamberlain, he said: "you’ve sat there too long for all the good you’ve done, in the name of God, go."

Johnson dodged a number of questions about his leadership and touted his government's handling of COVID-19 and the vaccine rollout in response to questions about the Downing Street parties.

In the last two weeks, Johnson has issued a series of apologies and defences for his actions as the scandal continues to dog his leadership.

He apologised last week for attending a party held at Downing Street during the first coronavirus lockdown, stating that he thought it was a "work event" and in an interview with Sky News on Tuesday, Johnson said that no one had told him that the event was "against the rules".

Labour opposition leader Keir Starmer called Johnson's defence "ridiculous" stating that he expected the country to believe that while everyone else saw it as a "social occasion", the PM saw it as a "work event".

Leader of the Scottish National Party in Westminster, Ian Blackford, went a bit further, calling Johnson's statements "ludicrous".

"First he claimed there were no parties, then he wasn’t present, then he admitted he was at them but he didn't know it was a party and then Mr Speaker, the latest sorry excuse is really the most pathetic of them all. Nobody told me. Nobody told me. Nobody told the prime minister he was breaking his own rules. Absolutely pathetic," Blackford said.

Johnson deflected the questions amid loud chatter in the parliament, repeatedly saying the Labour party would have kept the country in a lockdown for longer.

Watch a Euronews interview with Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale in the video player, above.