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Boris Johnson refuses to apologise for Jo Cox remarks and says it is time to 'lance the boil' on Brexit

Boris Johnson refuses to apologise for Jo Cox remarks and says it is time to 'lance the boil' on Brexit
2 min read

Boris Johnson has refused to apologise for saying that the best way to honour Jo Cox's memory was to deliver Brexit.

The Prime Minister sparked outrage when he made the claim during heated Commons exchanges on Wednesday night in which he also repeatedly described a new law aimed at stopping a no-deal Brexit as the "Surrender Act".

Ms Cox's husband, Brendan, was among those who condemned Mr Johnson's remarks.

In an interview with BBC Look North, which covers Ms Cox's former Batley and Spen constituency, the PM was asked if he wanted to apologise to her family and friends.

He said: "Obviously I’m deeply sorry for the threats that MPs face and I think it’s very important we look after them, particularly look after female MPs.

"The death of Jo Cox was an absolute tragedy which I think bought the House of Commons together in unison. But it’s also important to protect the right of MPs to speak freely in the House of Commons about important political matters and the fact of the so-called Benn Act is that it surrenders our powers."

In a separate interview, the Prime Minister admitted that he needed to mend fences with Labour MPs if he hopes to get a Brexit deal through Parliament.

"I think that is a reasonable anxiety, and we need - I need - to reach out across the House of Commons." he said.

The PM added: "Well, I think it's fair enough to call the surrender act what it is. I think it is absolutely reasonable. But you are also right, we do need to bring people together, and get this thing done.

"And so, if I may say so, i think actually you're right, tempers need to come down, and people need to come together because it's only by getting Brexit done that you’ll lance the boil as it were of the current anxiety and we will be able to get on with the domestic agenda."

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