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Sketch of PMQ: Boris wiggles to get rid of his own creations

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Are you a liar, Prime Minister? Ian Blackford asked during the Prime Minister’s Questions. Most of us would take a nanosecond to think about this one. Boris Johnson looked puzzled. Perhaps he was philosophically wondering if a true liar could answer anything other than “no”.

Instead, he urged that the Chairman could decide whether the words were in order. It is against the rules of the House of Commons to call a Member of Parliament a liar, a fiber, a double-sided or whatever, so the Prime Minister had good reason to hope that Blackford would give himself a middle finger from the President.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle was not playing ball. “Can I just say, unfortunately, that they are in order,” said the President. “But weren’t tasty and not what we would expect.” He then called Blackford, SNP chief at Westminster, “Ian” and invited him to ask another question.

This little barbed wire dance says a lot about this Prime Minister’s lack of appreciation in Parliament. It came shortly after a full-fledged, round-handed duel between Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer which reinforced the impression that the Prime Minister’s attitude to accountability in the House is akin to the enthusiasm of ‘Amazon for the payment of taxes.

Starmer the QC was in top form, posing some carefully worded traps in his questions. Politician Starmer was also excellent, drawing the prime minister with colorful contempt, dubbing him “Major Sleaze”.

The Labor chief began with media reports that Johnson said he would rather ‘let the bodies pile up’ than have another lockdown. “Could the Prime Minister say categorically in the House, yes or no,” he said, ” or remarks that have an effectAsked the QC.

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“No,” Johnson bellowed in an emphatic response. The prime minister looked nervous to face a former DPP a year ago, but he sought to turn the situation around. “The Right Honorable Gentleman is a lawyer … if he wants to repeat such allegations, he should come to the House and say where he heard them and who exactly is supposed to have said these things.”

Johnson then made adult comments from the Prime Minister about what happened when he allegedly said the words. “These were very bitter, very difficult decisions … because nobody wants to put this country in a lockout with all the consequences that this means: for the loss of education, for the damage to people’s chances in life. , for the enormous medical backlog that this implies. “

The first round seemed to go to the Prime Minister, after this clear denial and this emotional flowering. But the QC looked smug, hinting that the accused had been mistaken in a trap. “Someone here is not telling the truth,” he said, reminding Johnson that the Ministerial Code requires the resignation of any minister who knowingly misleads Parliament. “I’ll leave it there for now,” he thought, oozing threat. “There will be more on this, trust me.”

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