‘Don’t shout at me’: Fury in parliament as Tory MP denies taking ‘bag of cash’ to save Boris Johnson

·Political Correspondent, Yahoo News UK
·3-min read
don t shout
Deputy speaker Eleanor Laing had to interject.

Two MPs have clashed in parliament after a Tory backbencher was accused of "corruption" over claims he backed Boris Johnson in a no-confidence vote after securing funding for his own constituency.

In heated exchanges in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Labour's shadow housing secretary Lisa Nandy accused the ToryMP Bob Seely of asking for a promise of more funding for his constituency in return for backing the prime minister.

“The member for the Isle of Wight said he'd voted for the prime minister to keep his job after receiving assurances that there will be a funding review his council,” said Nandy.

She added: “Can I ask the secretary of state [for housing, Michael Gove]: did he have knowledge of this? Did he sign it off?

“Because let me say to him: that sounds awfully like corruption."

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Labour's Lisa Nandy.

Nandy’s claims triggered shouting in the chamber, with Seely denying he had received a “bag of cash” for voting to save the prime minister.

“She gets it completely wrong," he responded angrily. “Several years ago, the prime minister realised that the Isle of Wight was the only island in the UK that doesn’t doesn’t have a multiply… I said to the prime minister: ‘Will you commit to rectifying this wrong, which is a policy flaw - and he said ‘yes’…

"So did I ask for a bag of cash? No. And it is completely untrue for her to say that — so she can get up now and apologise."

The row was sparked by a letter published on Seely's website on Tuesday explaining his decision to support Johnson in Monday night's vote. It said: "It is clear that some foolish errors were made during Partygate. Boris has apologised. I hope now that he can focus on governing.

"I talked again with ministers about why a fair funding package has not yet been forthcoming for the Isle of Wight Council.

"I have been assured they will look at this again and will do so in the very near future, ahead of the ongoing review of local government finance. I will keep Islanders informed."

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Tory MP Bob Seely denies claims he voted for the PM after securing funding for his constituency.

Watch: Don’t shout at me!’: Chaos as Tory MP denies taking ‘bag of cash’ to save Boris Johnson

Watch: Don’t shout at me!’: Chaos as Tory MP denies taking ‘bag of cash’ to save Boris Johnson

Laing replied, asking for Nandy to do so, but interrupted herself to scold Nandy for appearing to use her phone: "So I would ask the lady [Nandy]... she can't possibly, I know she can't possibly be looking at her phone while I'm speaking to her."

Laing then repeated her calls for Nandy to withdraw her comments, but was forced to reprimand other MPs, bellowing to a stunned House: "Don't shout at me when I'm speaking from the chair!"

She then lowered her voice and added: "Will the honourable lady please withdraw the allegation of corruption, which is a very serious one."

Nandy subsequently withdrew the accusation of corruption and instead described the situation as "dodgy".

The heated exchange came after a report by parliament's public accounts committee said that accountability on the government’s Levelling Up Fund is "unsatisfactory".

The cross-party committee said the government finalised the principles for awarding the first round of £1.7bn funding only once they knew the identities and scores of shortlisted bidders creating a lack of transparency over towns selected.

The no-confidence vote in Johnson was triggered amid growing discontent in the party with the prime minister – much of the anger over the Partygate scandal.

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