Who won this week’s PMQs? We’ve scored Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer as they meet after Peppa Pig gaffe

Who won this week’s PMQs? We’ve scored Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer as they meet after Peppa Pig gaffe

After Boris Johnson’s most recent public speech united the country in agreement that it was an absolute flop, he might have been slightly nervous about returning to the Commons to face the more erudite leader of the opposition, Keir Starmer.

But whether he was reluctant to tear himself away from his cartoons or not, Johnson had to put on his big boy pants and go to parliament to defend his latest shambolic week in politics, and so he did.

Did he manage to convey a greater degree of professionalism? Or should he have stayed at Peppa Pig World?

Let’s take a look:

“I see they’ve turned up this week prime minister,” Starmer, 7/10

After Starmer scrutinised Johnson on the party’s social care reforms, questioning whether they mean people will have to sell their homes to pay for care, Tory MPs shouted him down, causing him to pause for silence. He had the last laugh, though, noting that last week far fewer MPs came down to the Commons to back their sleaze-slathered party’s leader.

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“Shouting each other down doesn’t do you or your constituents any good,” Hoyle, 9/10

Poor Sir Lindsay Hoyle. The speaker of the house struggles tirelessly every week to reform the Commons from a playground scrapping zone to a bastion of mature and measured respect. After all, babies are banned from the House of Commons (currently).

As he has done in the past, he remarked that the tragic killing of MP David Amess should have caused MPs to reflect on the way they conduct public debate and told people to leave if they didn’t like want to be respectful.

While no-one did leave, it soon became clear Hoyle was fighting a losing battle.

“Why won’t he support it?” Johnson, 2/10

A classic in the Boris Johnson PMQs Bingo game. Consistently asking the opposition for support, despite them being the... opposition, it’s remarkable Johnson didn’t spearhead the 2010 coalition.

“They haven’t had the guts to fix it in all their years in office...it’s something left over from the Attlee government,” Johnson, 0/10

Unreasonably odd. Appearing to forget that Conservatives have been in power for over a decade, Johnson actually blamed Clement Attlee - a man in power from 1945 to 1951 (which in case you are confused is not 2021) - for all of societal ills.

Is Johnson a time traveller from the 20th century? You’d be forgiven for thinking yes – given some of the archaic language he uses – but the answer is actually no.

“Who knows if he’ll make it to the next election, but if he does how does he expect anyone to take his promises seriously?” Starmer, 8/10

Listing manifesto pledges and promises Johnson made in the past that seem to have been thoroughly remixed in the last two years, like HS2 and low taxes, Starmer provoked Johnson by undermining his authority and it looked like he succeeded in winding him up.

“I think he’s lost his place in his notes again,” Starmer, 8/10

As Johnson blubbered on, literally jumping at one point, Starmer fixed him with a steely gaze and joked that he had lost his place, referencing one of the more tragic parts of CBI speech in which the PM fumbled through sheets of paper for 25-seconds, stammering “forgive me” as he forgot just what on Earth he was going on about.

“He’s picked the pockets of working people to protect the estates of the wealthiest...It’s a classic con game - a Covent Garden pickpoting operato. The prime minister is the front man distracting people with wild promises and panto speeches while the chancellor dips his hand in their pocket,” Starmer 10/10

After savaging the PM leaving him flustered, Starmer then hammered out some punchy rhetoric surely aimed at voters. The idea that the Tories are sleazy and using public money and influence to line their own pockets has punctured the Westminster bubble and helped Labour climb the polls while Johnson falls on his arse behind.

Presenting the PM as some sort of Dickensian villain, who’s court jester jig is up, reads the public mood exactly.

“Is everything OK prime minister?” Starmer, 9/10

Then, speaking about news that senior Tories are reportedly tired of Johnson and his court jester approach to being a British statesman (help us), Starmer took a line a BBC reporter used on the PM earlier this week and asked him if everything was alright.

His MPs laughed and the Tories jeered.

“If we listened to Captain Hindsight ... we’d still be in lockdown!” Johnson, 0/10

PMQs veterans will be exhaustedly aware that Johnson trots out this Captain Hindsight line more times than Peppa Pig trots round her pen on any given day. He also monologues a list of Tory successes including the vaccine and the nebulous ‘economy’ but this time bizarrely added that Starmer “opposed” the vaccine rollout. (He obviously didn’t).

As the country and world moves further away from the pandemic, will his months old political jibes and nitpicking still wash?

Did it ever?


If Johnson was hoping he would repair the damage his personality did earlier this week he will be disappointed.

He resorted to making weird things up on the spot, recycling lines used for months and months on end and, while he did a rather accurate impression of a car during his CBI speech, his impression of a prime minister needs some serious work.

Starmer takes this win.

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