Caroline Lucas has slammed Boris Johnson for his handling of the Owen Paterson lobbying scandal, saying the episode is symptomatic of his wider conduct.

On BBCQuestion Time, the Green PartyMP criticised the prime minister for his “lies”, shirking of “standards and decency” and unaccountability, saying he is “the biggest problem of all” as she hailed the return of “Tory sleaze.”

She said:

“You can’t just go around changing the rules when you don’t like them and that’s exactly what this prime minister is doing and it goes much wider, sadly than just Owen Paterson,” she said.

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“This is a prime minister who cares nothing for parliamentary standards or for decency or for the rule of law.”

It comes after Paterson resigned after flapping his wings by lobbying for two businesses to the tune of £100,000 a year and unleashing a huge butterfly effect that started with parliament voting to change standards rules and ended with an excruciating U-turn and a backlash that involved Johnson being raked over the coals.

Lucas then gave examples of times in which Johnson has fallen short of “standards” - when he unlawfully prorogued parliament in 2019, and when he ignored accusations that Priti Patel was bullying members of her staff, before saying:

“He himself, of course, is the biggest problem of all,” adding that it is difficult to hold to account because “he lies repeatedly”.

“The trouble is the judge, the jury, the court is all the prime minister, there’s no other way of holding him to account,” she said, adding that she found parliament “grotesque” when Tory MPs were “dragooned” into voting to ignore the standard watchdog’s recommendations and to let Paterson off the hook.

“It’s quite extraordinary to see how people can just be persuaded to vote for something that is so manifestly wrong.

“Tory sleaze is back and it’s a very bad look.”

Reacting to her, people thought she hit the nail on the head and praised her for her analysis:

The sleaze scandal rumbles on.

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