‘All very interesting, Boris. Except none of it is really true, is it?’
These were the calmly delivered words of Andrew Tyrie, Conservative MP for Chichester and Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, questioning Boris Johnson over his frankly sketchy delivery of evidence in support of Brexit. Johnson noted a range of seemingly esoteric European directives, including the UK’s requirement to standardise coffin sizes and and another which prevented councils from recycling used teabags. Both claims, alongside a number of others, were rebuffed by Tyrie.
Many backbench MPs, like Andrew Tyrie, are highly effective in scrutinising government. Although it is true that, in the case of the EU referendum, Cameron has effectively suspended collective ministerial responsibility, allowing opposing positions to emerge, Tyrie showed himself to be adept at challenging this particular member of government’s grasp of the facts underpinning his arguments to vote to leave the EU.
This is a great example for Unit 2 students, demonstrating the effectiveness of back benchers in select committees holding the executive to account.
See Boris in front of the Treasury Select Committee below: