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By Baroness Smith of Llanfaes
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Keir Starmer Accuses Boris Johnson Of Having Lost The Trust Of The Public

3 min read

Keir Starmer has accused the Prime Minister of having lost the trust of his own MPs and the British public in a fiery Prime Minister's Questions.

Speaking in the wake of Tuesday's huge Tory rebellion, the Labour leader said that the British public have been “burdened with the worst possible Prime Minister at the worst possible time”.

Starmer also accused Johnson of lacking “the trust and the authority to lead Britain through the crisis”.

“So weak is his leadership, his own MPs were wrong to vote against basic health measures,” he continued. 

“But I can understand why they’re angry at him.

“After all, the health secretary said this summer that relaxation of restrictions were irreversible. They weren’t.

“Does the Prime Minister understand why his own MPs don’t trust him?”

Yesterday 101 Tory rebels voted against the government to oppose implementing Plan B Covid regulations, which have been introduced in response to soaring case numbers of the Omicron variant.

The new regulations include compulsory vaccination for NHS workers, mandatory face mask wearing in public indoor spaces and vaccine certification checks or the presentation of a negative lateral flow test at large events and nightclubs.

Conservative backbenchers who rebelled have also criticised Johnson over revelations that he and his staff in Downing Street allegedly broke Covid regulations last year to participate in a series of Christmas parties.

“His MPs are wrong to vote against basic public health measures, but they are not wrong to distrust him,” Starmer told the Commons during PMQs.

“The Labour Party showed the leadership yesterday that the Prime Minister lacked,” he added.

Starmer whipped Labour MPs to vote with the government on the Plan B measures, arguing that public health should be prioritised over political opposition, which enabled the votes to pass despite the Tory rebellion. 

“If it wasn’t for Labour votes his government wouldn’t of been able to introduce the vital health measures we need to save lives and protect the NHS.”

Johnson accused the Labour leader of playing “political games”.

“He comes to this House pompously claiming that he wants to rise above party politics and support the efforts of the nation delivering the vaccine rollout, and then he talks endlessly about party politics and plays political games,” the Prime Minister said.

Johnson added that the public are more interested in the government's campaign to deliver booster jabs than discussion of alleged Christmas parties in Downing Street. 

A poll for Sky News carried out last week found that 64% of the public think a party did take place in Downing Street last year while London was under severe Covid restrictions.

Only 9% said one did not take place while 27% are unsure.


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