Keir Starmer laid out a damning review of Boris Johnson’s year at PMQs

In what was probably their last clash of the year, the Labour leader tried to hold the prime minister to account for all the mistakes made during the last 12 months, writes John Rentoul

Wednesday 16 December 2020 14:05 GMT
Keir Starmer in the House of Commons
Keir Starmer in the House of Commons (UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor via Reuters)

Keir Starmer, the tough midfielder, swerved around a dirty tackle intended to unnerve him. Michael Fabricant, the Conservative boot boy, called him a “smarmy lawyer” in his first question, notionally addressed to the prime minister.  

Boris Johnson himself tried to put his opponent off by unveiling some actual numbers for the vaccination programme, saying it had got off to a “good start” in its first seven days, with 108,000 inoculated in England and 138,000 across the UK.  

But Starmer ignored these attempts to distract him and pressed ahead with his attempt to sum up the whole year – to the prime minister’s disadvantage. “Since this is probably the last Prime Minister’s Questions of the year”, he said, he wanted to rehearse the charges against the government’s handling of the coronavirus.  

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