BORIS Johnson said he agrees that MPs should not take a pay rise this year following calls by a North-East MP.

Conservative MP Dehenna Davison for Bishop Auckland said: “I’m sure, like me, the Prime Minister welcomes the incredibly valuable contribution of our essential workers in keeping our society moving, our economy turning and keeping us safe.

“But we know that many of our constituents are facing challenges through Covid. So on that note, does the Prime Minister agree with me and many colleagues that as we are having intense discussions on how to balance the nation’s finances, that now is not the time for an MPs’ pay rise?”

Mr Johnson replied: “Yes, I do agree with that and that is why we have frozen ministerial salaries this year – as indeed they have been frozen by successive Conservative governments since 2010.

“And I know that IPSA (Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority) will have heard (Ms Davison) and I’d encourage them not to proceed.”