PMQs between Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer is becoming a rather predictable affair.

Starmer quizzes Johnson on something, Johnson doesn’t like it and tries to distract with his characteristic flamboyant turns of phrase. And it doesn’t always work.

This time, for example, Johnson tried to accuse Starmer of having “more flip flops than Bournemouth beach” when Starmer pressed him on the lack of action regarding weaknesses in Britain’s national security.

This followed the publication of a report which concluded that Britain had been left increasingly vulnerable to threats from Russia and attempts to interfere in the UK’s democracy.

Johnson’s justification for this bizarre retort was apparently that Starmer hadn’t condemned his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn for appearing on Russian TV.

But, perhaps thanks to his quick legal mind, Starmer had the perfect retort to Johnson’s soundbite. In what was a mic-drop moment, Starmer said:

This is the former columnist who wrote two versions of every article he ever published.


This is in reference to the infamous article which Boris Johnson wrote in 2016 outlining why he’d decided to campaign for leaving the EU.

Rather embarrassingly, it turned out that Johnson had written a backup article outlining why he’d decided to campaign to remain in the EU. This contributed to a long tradition of Johnson’s motives for campaigning for Brexit being questioned.

On social media, people (including Starmer's Labour colleagues) were very impressed by his razor-sharp response.

It just goes to show: if you’re going to try to take down Keir Starmer, you better be prepared for him to come back at you.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)