Starmer: “The ministerial code says that ministers who knowingly mislead parliament will be expected to offer their resignation. Does the prime minister believe that applies to him?” 10/10
Right off the bat, Starmer was straight in there with the direct question that’s been on everybody’s lips over the last two months.
Johnson said “of course”, before he predictably said he can’t comment (due to, you guessed it, Sue Gray’s investigation). He then continued to go on about how he’s focused on the fast recovery of the economy, and the booster rollout.
Johnson said tomorrow they would announce a plan to get half a million people off welfare.
Shoddy clapback from Johnson, Starmer wins this exchange.
Johnson walked into Starmer's trap by answering "of course" a ministerial code applies to him which states those who knowingly mislead Parliament must resign #PMQs
Straight back in, Starmer jabbed back - and he had receipts.
He said that on 1 December Johnson claimed “all guidance was followed completely in Number 10”, and a week later on 8 December basically parroted the same thing.
As Starmer confronted Johnson on his previous words in parliament, Johnson looked confused.
That’s when Starmer hit him with the “looks quizzical, he said it”.
He concluded this question with: “Since he acknowledged the ministerial code applies to him, will he now resign?”
Johnson looking quizzical is something we’re certainly used to seeing. Confused over his own Covid rules to the point that he's apparently been breaching them, this pithy remark gets Starmer full marks.
Johnson: “[Starmer] would have taken us back into lockdown at Christmas.” 0/10
Johnson started his answer with a firm “no” to the question over whether or not he’d quit, before going on to accuse Starmer of being “relentlessly opportunistic” when it comes to Covid measures, claiming Starmer would have kept the country on lockdown during the summer and said “he would have taken us back into lockdown at Christmas”.
Starmer: “This is the prime minister who went into hiding for five days because of these allegations.” 7/10
Starmer stood looking at the Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle momentarily, before Hoyle scolded those who were getting rowdy on the benches.
The Labour leader went on to ask if he will publish the full Sue Gray report. Again, predictably, Johnson changed the subject by speaking about the cost of living crisis and cutting tax for people on universal credit.
Starmer laughed at Johnson’s “cutting the tax” comment and went on to say public trust has been damaged.
If he and other members of the government need a senior civil servant to tell them whether or not they were at parties, it makes us question their leadership.
Guardian columnist Marina Hyde put it best when, a few weeks ago, she wrote: “Did you or didn’t you go to a big party in your garden, you smirking fibreglass toby jug? Or do you also have to wait for some veteran civil servant to tell you whether or not you put your pants on the right way round this morning? Honestly mate, just MAN UP.”
With the Gray report hopefully coming out very soon, we can’t wait for next week when Johnson can no longer dodge questions by citing the investigation.