Five words from Boris Johnson at PMQs show he’s treating coronavirus as one big joke

The Canary

Labour leader Keir Starmer challenged Boris Johnson over his handling of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic at PMQs on 15 July.

But instead of answering Starmer’s questions, Johnson treated his interrogation as a joke, stating that Starmer has:

more briefs than Calvin Klein.

But while the PM might have received cheers from his Tory colleagues, many social media users were unimpressed:

Starmer had warned that Johnson is “kidding no-one” by claiming everything is a “stunning success” in connection with the government’s coronavirus response and urged the PM to acknowledge there are problems.

Speaking at PMQs, Johnson said Starmer should help “build up the confidence” of the people of the country to “cautiously” get back to work and restart the economy instead of “endlessly knocking” their confidence.

Starmer hit back:

It’s perfectly possible to support track and trace and point out the problems, and standing up every week and saying it’s a ‘stunning success’ is kidding no-one – that’s not giving people confidence in the system.

They’d like a prime minister who stands up and says, ‘there are problems and this is what I’m going to do about them’. Not this rhetoric about stunning success when it’s obviously not true.

Johnson defended the Government’s response, adding:

One day he says it’s safe to go back to schools, the next day he’s taking the line of unions; one day they’re supporting our economic programme, the next day they’re saying our stamp duty cut is an unacceptable bung; one day they say they accept the result of the Brexit referendum, the next day, today, they’ll tell their troops to do the exact opposite.

He needs to make up his mind about which brief he’s going to take today because at the moment he’s got more briefs than Calvin Klein.”

A spokesman for the Labour leader said after PMQs:

It tells you everything you need to know about the Prime Minister’s flippant approach to this crisis. Keir was raising very serious concerns from bereaved relatives and the Prime Minister responded with a pre-prepared joke.

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