5 times Keir Starmer grilled Boris Johnson so hard that he resorted to cringeworthy dad jokes

Isobel van Hagen
Sunday 17 January 2021 13:26
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Boris Johnson hosts a virtual press conference on the coronavirus pandemic(Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP)

Over the past few months, we have not been short of Prime Minister Boris Johnson resorting to calling Labour leader Keir Starmer a variety of bizarre nicknames in response to legitimate questioning. 

Here are five times Johnson employed cringey ‘dad-jokes’ to defend himself against Starmer.

1. Over the summer, Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer went head-to-head, with Johnson unable to properly answer questions about a coronavirus “second wave” (we are now in the third wave).

In response to Starmer’s line of questioning, the PM attacked the opposition leader’s for having “more briefs than Calvin Klein”.

2. Later on in July last year, Johnson tried to accuse Starmer of having “more flip flops than Bournemouth beach” (good one Boris) when Starmer pressed him on weak action in regards to UK national security. 

Starmer had a zinger of his own prepared however, when he responded, “This is the former columnist who wrote two versions of every article he ever published.”

3. Johnson consistently refers to Starmer as “Captain Hindsight” – seemingly referencing that he changes his mind often. 

Back in September, in the midst of the A-Levels algorithm fiasco, Johnson once again referred to Starmer as “Captain Hindsight” (a joke stolen from South Park).

Starmer had a quick response as usual: “The problem is the prime minister is governing in hindsight, that's why he's making so many mistakes”.

4. In November, Johnson  used his ‘clever’ nickname again, calling Starmer “Captain Hindsight” as he faced questions about government finances during the pandemic and his flip-flop on free school meals.

“It’s entirely typical, I may say, of Captain Hindsight, that he now attacks our efforts to procure PPE when he said we were not going fast enough and now he says we’re going too fast,” Johnson said at the time.

Starmer retorted: “Talk about hindsight, I say catch up!”

5. Then just a few days ago, Johnson attempted to mock the opposition leader during an intense debate over the meager free school meals scandal

Starmer accused the government guidance on school meals, as well as the school meals organised by Chartwells themselves, of being ‘shameful’.

Johnson started his response by calling Starmer’s challenge “hypocritical and absurd” but was told to maintain a level of respect and discipline in the Commons and asked him to withdraw his comments.  

He couldn’t even get to making up some kind of nickname, although he did try to “joke” that Marcus Rashford was better at holding the government to account than the opposition. Starmer didn’t miss as beat before doing just what the PM had accused him of failing to do – hold him to account.

In any case, we hope the political theatre between the two men ends soon, and they start actually addressing the pressing needs of the public they serve.

MORE: How will the pandemic and the government's actions impact our livelihoods in 2021?

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