Speaker Lindsay Hoyle ticks off Boris Johnson during PMQs: ‘It’s not leader of the opposition questions’

Harriet Brewis
·2-min read
 (Parliament TV)
(Parliament TV)

Sir Lindsay Hoyle was forced to remind Boris Johnson the purpose of Prime Minister’s Questions during a fiery session in the House of Commons today.

The Speaker took the PM to task after he attempted to grill Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer over Jeremy Corbyn’s place in the party amid the ongoing anti-Semitism row.

Addressing Mr Johnson, who appeared via video-link as he continues to self-isolate in Downing Street, Sir Lindsay said abruptly: “It actually is Prime Minister’s Questions, not Leader of the Opposition questions.”

The chastisement came after the Prime Minister said of Sir Keir: “He makes various attacks on my leadership and the handling of the ministerial code.

“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?”

Following Sir Lindsay’s interjection, Mr Johnson defended his question, describing it as “reasonable”.

But the Speaker swiftly reminded him that it was his job, not the PM’s, to decide what constitutes a reasonable question in the Commons.

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 referring to the moment his video feed was muted during his coronavirus announcement on Monday.

<p>Sir Keir locked horns with the PM at today’s session in the Commons</p>PA

Sir Keir locked horns with the PM at today’s session in the Commons


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 Covid-19 legislation.

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