MPs finally condemn Owen Paterson but Boris Johnson’s hopes of moving on from sleaze scandal hit by Tory infighting


SHAMED Owen Paterson was today finally condemned by MPs as Boris Johnson hoped to draw a line under a hellish fortnight of sleaze saga. 

But in a sign that the row has seriously scarred the Tory Party his backbenchers descended into furious infighting.

Owen Paterson, who quit the Commons, was today formally condemned by MPs
Boris Johnson is desperate to move on from a fortnight of hell

Almost two weeks after the PM abandoned a controversial bid to save the ex-minister from a Commons suspension, MPs approved a motion to endorse his guilty verdict.

They also reversed Government plans to overhaul Parliament’s standards processes after it was shot down by opposition parties.

Ministers tried to slip the U-turn through yesterday without fuss but it was vetoed by veteran Tory rebel Sir Christopher Chope who yelled “object”.

It meant the Government’s pain was prolonged an extra day before MPs finally nodded through the motion today. 

In a fiery blue-on-blue spat 2019 Tory Alicia Kearns challenged Sir Christopher on why on earth he wanted more time spent discussing the Paterson affair.

The Rutland MP said: “How much time does he want us to give? Is it five hours? Ten hours? When will it be enough?”

Sir Christopher shot back that Ms Kearns “hasn’t applied her mind”, which prompted groans from fellow Conservatives.

Fuming Ms Kearns despaired sarcastically “I am a woman”. 

The Paterson furore has damaged the Tory Party and left backbenchers angry with the Government.

Ex-PM Theresa May said today the botched bid to save Mr Paterson “ill-judged and just plain wrong”.

Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg has expressed “regret”, telling MPs an amendment to save a former Tory MP from suspension was a “mistake”

His Labour opposite number Thangam Debbonaire raged: “Standards matter. Scrutiny matters.

“An independent system of holding everyone in public life to account matters. Standards should not be seen or treated as an irksome bother that you get your mates to change when you’re found out.

“It should not be seen as something to be feared or something to be treated with such disdain, frankly incompetence, and a total absence of leadership as we’ve seen from this sorry Government over this sorry affair.”

Tory MP Alicia Kearns raged at fellow Conservative Alicia Kearns

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