Boris Johnson insisted Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and the 'deep state' would fail in their 'plot' to move Britain back towards the EU

Boris Johnson today delivered a full-throated defence of his time in power as he hailed his Government for fighting ‘some of the hardest yards in modern political history’.

The outgoing Prime Minister, who has seven weeks left in Downing Street, took the opportunity to stress the ‘very remarkable’ achievements of his administration over the past three years.

In a speech that could have been aimed more at those Tory MPs that toppled him rather than opposition benches in the House of Commons, Mr Johnson noted how his Government was ‘undefeated at the polls’.

He hit out at those who had sought to defy the Brexit vote, praised his ministers for dealing with ‘wave after wave’ of Covid infections, and highlighted British support for Ukraine.

The PM also insisted that Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and the ‘deep state’ would fail in their ‘plot’ to move Britain back towards the EU, while he pledged that British support for Ukraine would not weaken under a new Tory leader.

But his words were not enough to convince one Tory MP.

Loyalist backbencher Michael Fabricant expressed his fear that the Conservative Party had made the same mistake in ousting Mr Johnson as Labour did ‘when they knifed Tony Blair’.

Boris Johnson insisted Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and the ‘deep state’ would fail in their ‘plot’ to move Britain back towards the EU

Sir Keir claimed the PM’s ‘delusion is never ending’ as he expressed relief that Torry MPs had ‘finally got round to sacking him’

Tory backbencher Michael Fabricant expressed his fear the Conservative Party had made the same mistake in ousting Mr Johnson as Labour did ‘when they knifed Tony Blair’

The PM addressed the Commons at the start of a debate on a confidence motion in his Government, which one Labour former minister claimed was akin to Mr Johnson speaking ‘at his own funeral’.

Mr Johnson had put the motion before MPs himself. It followed a row over Labour’s bungled attempt to force a Commons showdown last week on whether he still commands a majority.

The PM promised to ‘say more about the events of the last few weeks and months in due course’ following his ousting from power over a series of scandals, including the Partygate row.

But, this afternoon, he instead primarily focussed on his 2019 general election success and Brexit.

‘We got Brexit done and though the rejoiners and the revengers were left plotting and planning and biding their time – and I’ll have more to say about the events of the last few weeks and months in due course – we delivered on every single one of our promises,’ he told the Commons.

On the Government’s response to the Covid crisis, Mr Johnson said: ‘A pandemic that was global, whose origins we do not fully understand but were nothing to do with the British people – and if anything the result of distant misbehaviour involving bats or pangolins – and whose spread was appallingly difficult to manage, and this Government never gave up through wave after wave.’

The PM praised the ‘resilience of the British people’ in protecting the NHS, with one Labour MP heard shouting: ‘You partied in Downing Street.’

In reference to the political scandals that have prompted his ousting from No10, the PM admitted he might be ‘more popular on the streets of Kyiv right now than I am in Kensington’.

But he sought to reassure those who will lament his departure as PM that he was confident Government policy on Brexit and Ukraine was unlikely to change once he is replaced.

‘Some people will say as I leave office, they will say “this is the end of Brexit”,’ he told MPs.

‘And the Leader of the Opposition (Sir Keir Starmer) and the deep state will prevail in its plot to haul back us into alignment with the EU as a prelude to our eventual return.

‘We on this side of the House will prove them wrong.

‘Some people will say this is the end of our support for Ukraine. That is exactly the analysis – the shampanskoye corks have allegedly been popping in the Kremlin.

‘I have no doubt whoever takes over in a few weeks’ time will make sure we keep together the global coalition in support of our Ukrainian friends.

‘And some people will say my departure – I think it was the Leader of the Opposition himself who said it – means the eventual victory of the Labour Party.

‘I believe this side of the House will prove him totally wrong.’

In a speech that could have been aimed more at those Tory MPs that toppled him rather than opposition benches, the PM noted how his Government was ‘undefeated at the polls’

The PM assured Tory MPs that after his ‘three dynamic and exhilarating years in the cockpit’ the Conservative Party would ‘find a new leader and we will coalesce in loyalty around him or her’.

In response to Mr Johnson, Sir Keir claimed the PM’s ‘delusion is never ending’ as he expressed relief that Torry MPs had ‘finally got round to sacking him’.

Ahead of the latest round of voting on the ongoing Tory contest to replace Mr Johnson, the Labour leader added: ‘In many ways the chaos of the last fortnight is familiar.

‘The third Tory leadership contest in six years. The latest bumper summer for graphic designers and brand managers. The latest parade of pretenders promising unfunded tax cuts.

‘The latest set of ministerial jobs handed out on a wink and a shake in return for a nomination. And TV debates so embarrassing that even the contestants are pulling out.

‘Every other year they switch out a failed prime minister.’

Source link

By Jon Doe