Corbyn nails the problem with Johnson’s first performance in parliament as PM

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Jeremy Corbyn has nailed the big problem with Boris Johnson’s first parliamentary performance as prime minister on 25 July.

The problem is that Johnson said he “struggled” to understand Corbyn’s hard-hitting questions. And as the Labour leader stressed, the new PM also failed to answer them.

Corbyn sought answers on regional injustices, capital punishment, the Huawei leak, the ‘backstop‘, other Brexit questions, tackling the climate emergency, and deescalating tensions with Iran. And he repeated them for Johnson on Facebook for good measure:


Today was the first time I faced Boris Johnson in Parliament. He said he "struggled" to discover a question in what I'd…

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Posted by Jeremy Corbyn on Thursday, 25 July 2019

A hard-right government “by the bankers and for the bankers”

Corbyn also insisted in his exchange with Johnson that the British government now has a [0:13]:

hard-right cabinet staking everything on tax cuts for the few and a reckless race-to-the-bottom Brexit

Shadow cabinet members John McDonnell, Laura Pidcock and Angela Rayner agreed. They had little doubt that Johnson will lead a Thatcherite government “by the bankers and for the bankers”:

With all of this in mind, the Labour leader asked Johnson – the “Britain Trump“, according to the current US president – to guarantee that the NHS would be completely off the table in any post-Brexit trade deal with the US:

This was the only question Johnson seemed to answer. He said “under no circumstances would we agree to any… free-trade deal that put the NHS on the table”. He is certainly not someone we can trust to be truthful, of course. But that is a promise we should all hold him to.

On the other important questions that Corbyn raised, however, Johnson sidestepped. He simply insisted:

I struggle to see the country he described in his description of the United Kingdom today.

That’s perhaps because, according to the parliamentary register of interests, the millionaire prime minister collected £780,000 from September 2018 to June 2019, gets £274,999.92 a year for writing columns for the Daily Telegraph, got “£49,642.78 in book royalties and advances between September 2017 and June 2019”, and recently put his London house up for sale with a price tag of £3.75m.

“Not one for coping with detail”

If Johnson’s first performance as PM shows anything, shadow chancellor John McDonnell summed it up perfectly:

The questioning exposed what everyone suspected. He’s not one for coping with detail.

In short, there’ll probably be much more question avoidance to come. But with Corbyn holding Johnson to account every week, and protesters already hitting the streets in large numbers, the new PM’s hard-right cabinet will have a fight on its hands if it wants to push any more suffering onto the British people.

Featured image via screenshots

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  • Show Comments
    1. Do I detect a change in the MSM’s approach…no longer constantly anti-Corbyn but now pro-Johnson. Could it be they’ve realised that the non-stop attacks are counter productive or perhaps this is the calm before the storm of the EHRC’s report? Either way there are some extremely dangerous people in charge of government departments who will not shy away from war if they can make a buck or two….

    2. I have a feeling that that particular shade of blue of Boris’ tie for his first day as PM is a coded message to Netanyahu that the Tories he leads are going to be particularly favourable toward Israel.

    3. It could be Boris Johnson didn’t understand the issues brought forth by Jeremy Corbyn as he is so occupied with his own ‘RIGHT” agenda he doesn’t even know how to relate any longer to these questions in the Opposition.

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