Boris Johnson rejects call to apologise to Justin Welby over Rwanda plan criticism

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Boris Johnson rejects call to apologise to Justin Welby over Rwanda plan criticism
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Boris Johnson rejected calls to apologise for his comments regarding the Archbishop of Canterbury and the BBC, during a fiery Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

During a meeting with Conservative MPs on Tuesday night, the Prime Minister allegedly accused both the BBC and Justin Welby of being “less vociferous” of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, than for Government’s immigration deal with Rwanda, The Telegraph reported.

In the Commons on Wednesday, Sir Keir accused the Prime Minister of attacking the “institutions of our great country”.

Sir Keir went on to accuse Mr Johnson of “slandering decent people in a private room, letting the slander spread, without the backbone to repeat it in public”.

He said: “Would the PM like to take this opportunity to apologise for slandering the Archbishop and the Church of England?”

Without offering an apology, the Prime Minister praised the Government’s attempts to end human trafficking across the Channel, and went on to claim David Blunkett had proposed the policy in 2004.

The policy, which will see asylum seekers sent to Rwanda, was deemed as “opposite to the nature of god” by the Archbishop.

Some have questioned the legality of the agreement, while it has since emerged Priti Patel had to issue a ministerial directive in order to overrule civil servants within the Home Office.

“The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an act of great evil and spoken out repeatedly against it,” a spokesman for Lambeth Palace said.

"They will continue to speak out against these plans on moral and ethical grounds."

Mr Johnson denied criticising the BBC over its coverage of the Ukraine war during the behind closed doors meeting with Tory MPs.

After Sir Keir questioned if the Prime Minister had the guts to apologise to BBC journalists who have reported from Ukraine, Mr Johnson said: “I said nothing of the kind and I have the highest admiration - as a former journalist - for what journalists do. I think they do an outstanding job.

He added: “For their coverage of Ukraine? He must be out of his tiny mind. I said no such thing and there are people behind who will testify to that.”

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