‘It’s PMQs not leader of the opposition questions’- Speaker tells off Johnson

By Ted Hennessey, PA
·2-min read

Boris Johnson has been told off by the Commons Speaker for asking his own question to Sir Keir Starmer.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle took issue with Mr Johnson during Prime Minister’s Questions after he asked the Labour leader about Jeremy Corbyn’s membership of the party amid the ongoing anti-Semitism row.

Mr Johnson, appearing via video-link while self-isolating at Downing Street, was told by the Speaker: “It actually is Prime Minister’s Questions, not Leader of the Opposition questions.”

The PM had tried to flip a question from Sir Keir about who was leaking information within his Government.

Mr Johnson asked: “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 for 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?”

The PM hit back at Sir Lindsay’s interjection, saying: “I think it’s a reasonable question” before the Speaker declared it was his “decision”.

Prompting laughter from MPs inside the Commons, the Speaker joked: “Thankfully we’ve got the sound… we don’t want to lose it.”

The Prime Minister then finished the brief spat by shouting: “It was your end last time, by the way.”

He was referencing the moment his video feed was muted during his coronavirus announcement on Monday.

Prime Minister’s Questions
Boris Johnson was speaking via video link from Downing Street (House of Commons/PA).

A straight-faced Sir Keir accused the Prime Minister of “running away” from the “problems” occurring from within the Government.

Mr Johnson shouted down the camera “oh yeah” five times in response.

It is not the first time the Prime Minister has been admonished by Sir Lindsay in the Commons.

In September, Mr Johnson was warned not to treat Parliament with “contempt” over the Government’s response to coronavirus legislation.