THE deputy speaker of the House of Commons has said MPs can only call Boris Johnson a “liar” in a “very narrow context”.

It comes after Ian Blackford was allowed to call Boris Johnson a “liar” during a debate on the Prime Minister’s conduct.

Dame Eleanor Laing intervened during SNP MP Pete Wishart’s comments during Business questions with Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The speaker explained that it was only allowed in the context of the debate which focussed on Johnson’s conduct as Prime Minister.

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We told how on Tuesday, Laing told MPs she couldn’t stop Blackford calling Johnson a liar during a debate on a motion to censure the Prime Minister.

The SNP had tabled a censure motion accusing the Prime Minister of “frequently violating” the principle of honesty in public office and highlighted Johnson’s attempts to undermine the Commons Standards Committee during the Owen Paterson row.

It called for Johnson to have his ministerial salary reduced by £41,567, and refers to the Prime Minister “regularly ignoring independent advice” on issues including international law and the ministerial code.

The National:

Deputy speaker Laing clarified why MPs could call the PM a liar in the House

The motion did not pass as MPs rejected it by 321 votes to 214, with a majority of 107.

However, during the three-hour-long debate, which the Prime Minister didn’t even show up to, Blackford gave MPs a number of examples where Johnson has bent the truth.

This included comments on nurses’ bursaries, the PM's statements on poverty levels and his previous comments on the Northern Ireland protocol.

Blackford said: “I can only conclude that the Prime Minister has demonstrated himself to be a liar.”

Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville-Roberts interjected to say: “Do the members on the opposite side appreciate the damage that is done to be able to use the word liar in this place, [it] is now passed as fair comment and accepted and what that is doing to our democracy?”

Laing then told MPs that she couldn’t stop Blackford from using the term.

In the House of Commons today, Laing explained the issue further after it was brought up during business questions.

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Addressing MPs she said: “I feel it incumbent on me to clarify that the honourable gentleman is absolutely right about what he said about my ruling about what the leader of the SNP, the right honourable gentleman for Ross, Skye and Lochaber [Blackford] was permitted to say in this chamber during the opposition day debate earlier this week.

“I must make it absolutely clear to the house, I don’t think this has been widely understood, that that was very specifically in the context of the debate being on a censure motion about a particular person.

“The use of any word that implies that a member of this house has not told the truth is only allowed in that very narrow context.

“This is not to be taken as a general ruling that these words can be used.

The National:

Johnson was pictured at a Christmas market while the debate was underway

“There are of course always polite and moderate ways of making points and that's how they should be made here in this chamber.”

We told how Johnson dodged the debate on his role in Tory sleaze allegations and his conduct as Prime Minister, and was instead pictured at a food and drinks market.

Johnson was instead replaced at the Despatch box by a cabinet minister who refused to engage in the debate and instead listed the UK Government’s achievements since they entered into office.