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Coronavirus: Boris Johnson agrees to face hour-and-a-half grilling by top MPs next week

Boris Johnson will appear before the Liaison Committee next week

2 min read

Boris Johnson has agreed to face an hour-and-a-half grilling from senior MPs on his response to the coronavirus pandemic next Wednesday.

The Prime Minister will field his first round of questions from the Liaison Committee - made up of all the chairs of the House of Commons’ select committees - on May 27.

Mr Johnson had last been due to appear before the committee, which is the only one with the power to question the Prime Minister, in October last year.

But he pulled out of the meeting shortly before, marking the third time he had postponed or cancelled his attendance since entering Number 10.

Confirming Mr Johnson will now be appearing, newly-appointed committee chair Bernard Jenkin said: “The coronavirus pandemic has led to a centralisation of power which is unusual in peacetime, making the Prime Minister more personally accountable than usual.  
“Whether on care homes, PPE, the re-opening of schools, the quarantining of international travellers, on how and when to end to the lockdown, and the economic impact it has been having, committee chairs are in a unique position to scrutinise the whole of government, to bring out truth and to increase understanding within government as well as more widely.
“This is the only way to promote learning and improvement so we make better decisions in the future.”

Sir Bernard was appointed to replace former chair Sarah Wollaston, who lost her seat in the 2019 General Election, on Wednesday. 

His nomination to the role caused controversy with MPs, including fellow Conservatives, who were angered at efforts to put a Government-approved candidate in the top job, rather than let them be elected from among the other committee chiefs.

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