Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces parliamentary turmoil on Wednesday over allegations of disgrace in his Conservative party and lackluster leadership at the COP26 climate summit.
Johnson will be questioned by the heads of parliament’s cross-party election committees at 15:00 GMT on a balance sheet of government policy, usually held three times a year and which may prove uncomfortable for sub-fire leaders.
This session – Johnson’s sixth since he became prime minister in mid-2019 – coincides with a fading crisis due to behavior by MPs, mainly from his own ruling Conservative party, due to potential conflicts of interest and lucrative second jobs.
On the eve of his appearance, Johnson sought to get the front foot by writing to the speaker of parliament to say he would support proposals to ban British lawmakers from acting as paid political advisers and advisers.
“It is essential that we put beyond doubt the reputation of the House of Commons, ensuring that the rules applied to MPs are up-to-date, effective and appropriately stringent,” he wrote.
The move came as the main opposition Labor party prepared to introduce a vote on Wednesday to ban MPs from such roles, as well as be paid directors, whose leader Keir Starmer said it forced Johnson’s hand.
British legislators are allowed to perform external roles, provided they declare them, but are not allowed to use their parliamentary offices or resources for such work.
Paid lobbying is also prohibited, with misdemeanor allegations investigated by parliamentary normative guards.
The current scandal erupted this month when Johnson tried – and failed – to review how that guard system works after MP Owen Paterson faced suspension for lobbying ministers for two companies that had him on the payroll.
Soon appeared many other MPs had high-paying second jobs, particularly lawyer and former attorney general Geoffrey Cox.
He has been accused of using his parliamentary office for foreign legal work, which has earned him more than £ 6 million ($ 8 million, € 7 million) since he became a Member of Parliament in 2005, in addition to his annual MP’s salary – currently around £. 82,000.
Paterson has resigned from parliament, while Cox denies breaking the rules.
The saga has seen a drop in support for both Johnson and the Conservatives in recent elections.
Wednesday’s questioning session will also see Johnson questioned about the UK’s hosting of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, which ended last weekend with nearly 200 nations signing a deal to try to stop rampant global warming.
However, two weeks of painful negotiations – and two personal visits by the British leader – were lacking to ensure what scientists say is needed to contain dangerous increases.
Opposition lawmakers have accused Johnson of failing to take the summit seriously enough, after returning for less than a full day after the initial meeting of world leaders at the start.
The senior lawmakers will also grasp him on government efforts to respond to violence against women and girls, following several high-profile cases that shook the country and sparked protest.
The British leader has previously shown reluctance to confront the watchdog committee, denying several invitations in 2019 and only appearing before it for the first time nearly a year after taking power.
He was last questioned by the panel in July.