Boris Johnson delivered a joke-filled tribute to Speaker of the House John Bercow, who after a decade in parliament is ending his tenure in the last Prime Minister’s Questions.
Addressing Bercow, the Johnson began: “After ten tumultuous years this is your last prime minister’s questions.”
The prime minister went on to call the Speaker an “uncontrollable ball machine”, a Wimbledon Umpire and Scarface all in the same breath.
And as befits a distinguished former Wimbledon competitor, you have sat up there in your high chair not just as am umpire, ruthlessly adjudicating on the finer points of parliamentary procedure with your trademark Tony Montana scowl, not just as a commentator, offering your own opinions on the rallies you are watching – sometimes acerbic, sometimes kindly.
Some thought the tribute was backhanded
Appropriate for Johnson's tennis themed piece for Bercow that his compliments are backhanded #PMQS
People also pointed out Jacob Rees-Mogg sat behind Boris
@Steven_Swinford @PARLYapp Boris Johnson doing a good job saluting John Bercow on his penultimate day in the Speake… https://t.co/NtUXVcw2i6
— Johnny Dee in Oxford🇮🇪🇪🇺🌍 (@Johnny Dee in Oxford🇮🇪🇪🇺🌍)
But above all, as a player in your own right, peppering every part of the chamber with your own thoughts and opinions like some tennis ball machine – some uncontrollable tennis machine.
Mr Speaker, delivering a series of literally unplayable, formerly unreturnable volleys and smashes and although we may disagree on some of the legislative innovations that you have favoured, there is no doubt in my mind that you have been a great servant of this parliament and this house of commons.
You have modernised; you have widened access, you have cared for the needs of those with disabilities and you have cared so deeply for the rights of backbenchers.