Keir Starmer is no Wilson or Blair, but he made life difficult for Boris Johnson at prime minister’s questions

Conservative MPs must be worried – they put on a noisy show of support at prime minister’s questions, writes John Rentoul

Wednesday 24 November 2021 14:11
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<p>Boris Johnson needed his party to prop him up in prime minister’s questions </p>

Boris Johnson needed his party to prop him up in prime minister’s questions

The Conservative Party is in a state of high anxiety. The Commons chamber was full, after last week’s thin turnout on the government benches. “I see they’ve turned up this week, Mr Speaker,” Keir Starmer observed as he asked his second question against a barrage of orchestrated noise.

Before the session began, a Tory whip scuttled along the government front bench to tell Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, to move up so that he would be sitting next to Boris Johnson, who has endured three weeks of terrible headlines now. This was intended to convince TV viewers that all is amity at the top of government; all it did was tell us that the Tories are really worried about mutually hostile briefings from Nos 10 and 11 Downing Street.

Starmer’s first question was short and sharp: “At the last election, the prime minister promised that nobody would have to sell their home to pay for care. That’s another broken promise isn’t it?”

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