PMQs: Bluster, Brexit, and anything but a straight answer

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. Photo: House of Commons/PA Wire
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. Photo: House of Commons/PA Wire
0
Have your say

Two party leaders dancing around big issues like Brexit, the NHS, and the economy without delving into any depths over what they might actually be able to do to improve things? It must be PMQs!

Boris Johnson appeared for only his second ever performance since his premiership began today, full of bluster and bravado.

And as ever with Jeremy Corbyn this left his approach of only seeming to read his questions five minutes before he is due to ask them lacking, with a distinct absence of any kind of strategy letting the PM off the hook.

But Mr Corbyn was right when he repeatedly pointed out Mr Johnson was not answering the question, though whether this should surprise us is by the by.

Of course it’s difficult for Mr Corbyn to land many heavy blows on the PM over Brexit today of all days, after some 19 of his MPs lent the Government their support to get his Brexit deal through to the next stage of debates.

Yes many of them say it’s so they can better shape it, but it is still a knock for Team Corbyn - and when Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson asked Mr Johnson whether he would thank those 19 MPs he did. Ouch.

Where Mr Corbyn did break through was his true compassion for those found dead in the back of a lorry in Essex, it’s a look Mr Johnson can’t quite grasp as he says the same words but they lack the same depth.

But maybe we shouldn’t be too hard on Mr Johnson, who to be fair has only had one crack at this whole PMQs thing before.

Maybe that is why he couldn’t help slipping into the realm of untruths, claiming the Government is building 40 new hospitals in the next decade, that’s not the case. This was later downgraded to 20 hospitals, still not the case. He also claimed he got his deal “through Parliament” - not true, still plenty of stages to go yet.

No checks between Northern Ireland and Great Britain after Brexit, nope, still not correct.

And that Scottish parliament had no role in approving the Brexit deal. Someone try telling the SNP that.

On both sides, it seems these are men who do not know what their next steps are, or how to take them.