PMQs: Rishi Sunak humiliating Greece's Prime Minister was a petulant clanger that even Boris Johnson wouldn't drop
With Britain’s reputation on the world stage left in tatters by Johnson - international laws being broken in the name of Brexit - Mr Sunak’s arrival into power felt as though the grown ups had returned to clean up the teenagers’ party.
And, with achievements including the design and installation of the Windsor Framework, the Richmond MP could with some authority not only claim but demonstrate that he was indeed intent on doing away with the jingoistic, populist claptrap that went before him in favour of serious politics.
Yet, it is precisely because this sharper, seemingly smarter brand of Conservatism posed such hope that makes it all the more incredible that Mr Sunak should leave himself wide open at PMQs, to legitimate criticism - some would say derision - at the hands of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, the former having cancelled, in a fit of pique, a meeting with Greece’s Prime Minister.
For all of Mr Johnson’s faults, it is difficult to imagine even he dropping such a petulant diplomatic clanger with one of our key strategic allies.
Humiliating a fellow world leader in full public view in that way is quite simply unacceptable; to make matters worse, Mr Sunak doubled down on embarrassing Kyriakos Mitsotakis during PMQs at the despatch box, accusing him of ‘grandstanding’ over the Elgin Marbles.
It was by far the Prime Minister’s most bruising defeat at PMQs, and it was all of his own making.