Keir Starmer widely praised for six minute condemnation of PM which stunned Commons into silence

Starmer calls on MPs to 'end this farce' and remove Boris Johnson
BBC News

Sir Keir Starmer has been widely praised for his condemnation of prime minister Boris Johnson, which stunned the House of Commons into silence on Monday afternoon.

The leader of the opposition spoke passionately for six minutes to criticise the findings of the Sue Gray report, which saw Mr Johnson forced into a humiliating apology.

The redacted report into allegations of lockdown-busting parties inside Downing Street highlighted “failures of leadership”, revealing that the Metropolitan Police are conducting a criminal investigation into 12 separate events in No 10 and other government departments.

Addressing the house, Mr Starmer said: “Over the last two years the British public have been asked to make the most heart wrenching sacrifices. A terrible collective trauma. Endured by all, enjoyed by none.

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“Funerals have been missed. Dying relatives unvisited. Every family has been marked by what we’ve been through. And revelations about the prime minister’s behaviour have forced us all to relive and rethink those darkest moments. Many have been overcome by rage, grief and even guilt.”

He went on to say: “Our national story about Covid is one of a people that stood up when it was tested. But that will forever be tainted by the behaviour of this Conservative prime minister.

The leader of the opposition addressed the house on MondayBBC News

“By routinely breaking the rules he set, the prime minister took us all for fools. He held people’s sacrifice in contempt. He showed himself unfit for office. His desperate denials since he was exposed have only made matters worse."

Mr Starmer added: “First, the prime minister said there were no parties. Then he said he was sickened and furious about the parties. Then it turned out he was there. Rather than come clean, every step of the way he has offended the public’s intelligence. Finally, he’s fallen back on his usual excuse - it’s everybody’s fault but his. They go, he stays.

“Even now, he is hiding behind a police investigation into criminality in his home, and in his office. He gleefully treats what should be a mark of shame as a welcome shield.

“But, prime minister, the British public aren’t fools. They never believed a word of it. They think the prime minister should do the decent thing and resign. Of course, he won’t. Because he is a man without shame.”

The leader of the opposition was praised for his speech on social media.

Following the speech, the prime minister became the subject of a backlash after attempting to distract from Labour criticism by accusing Mr Starmer of failing to prosecute disgraced entertainer Jimmy Savile when he was head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

As a fact-check by the Reuters news agency last October concluded, there is no evidence to support the claim, despite it gaining traction online.

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