Boris Johnson told off by Speaker for trying to ask his own questions at PMQs

Prime minister tried to turn the tables on Keir Starmer

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Wednesday 25 November 2020 12:59 GMT
Speaker rebukes Boris Johnson for asking Keir Starmer questions at PMQs

Boris Johnson has been admonished by the Speaker of the Commons for trying ask questions of his own at prime minister's questions.

The PM had tried to turn the tables on opposition leader Keir Starmer, asking him about Jeremy Corbyn's membership of the Labour party.

Mr Johnson had been quizzed by the Labour leader about the Priti Patel bullying saga and why he had not take decisive action.

But he said: "I'd take them a lot more seriously, frankly, Mr Speaker, if the leader of the opposition could explain whether or why the right honourable member of Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn) is still a member of the Labour party.

"Does he support the right honourable member for Islington North's membership of the Labour party, yes or no, why doesn't he answer that question?"

But Mr Hoyle, the Speaker, interjected before Sir Keir could reply, telling the prime minister: "I think I'll just answer the fact that is is actually prime minister's questions, not leader fo the opposition's questions."

When the prime minister protested that he had asked a "reasonable question", Mr Hoyle replied: "I think I'll make that decision."

Sir Keir contend with his own line of questioning, but not before adding: "The difference is I'm tackling the issues in my part, he's running away from his."

The response appeared to visibly infuriate Mr Johnson, who shouted inaudibly down his video link from Downing Street, where he is self-isolating after a brush with coronavirus.

At the end of the session Mr Hoyle admonished Mr Johnson again, this time for the poor quality of sound and video for his link from No.10.

Referring to a load of kit to Downing Street from the House of Commons, the Speaker said: "I'm very pleased that the House of Commons has been able to help deliver an improvement to the sound and vision from No.10 today, but we'd like our kit back this afternoon prime minister!"

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