Boris Johnson has thrown the gauntlet down to parliament, telling Labour and all the other opposition parties to put down a vote of no confidence in him, to force an election.
The Prime Minister called for parliament to face its “day of reckoning”, as Labour MPs shouted “resign” and “you should be in jail”.
Johnson spoke having arrived back in the UK this morning, a day early, after the Supreme Court ruled his prorogation was “unlawful, void and of no effect”.
But Johnson told the Commons he thought this decision was “wrong”, and went on to blast parliament for “running to the court” rather than go to the public.
“If the party opposite does not in fact have confidence in the government they will have a chance to prove it,” Johnson said. “They have until the house rises today to table a motion of no confidence in the government, and we can have that vote tomorrow.
“Or if any of the other smaller parties fancy a go, table the motion – we’ll give you time for that vote.”
“This parliament must either stand aside and let this government get Brexit done or bring a vote of confidence and finally face the day of reckoning with the voters.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn fought fire with fire, slamming Johnson’s speech as “10 minutes of bluster from a dangerous Prime Minister who thinks he is above the law, but in truth is not fit for the office he holds”.
But the opposition leader refused to bite.
“No one can trust this Prime Minister. Not on Iran. Not on Thomas Cook. Not on climate change or on Brexit,” he said. “For the good of this country, he should go. “He says he wants a General Election. I want an election. It’s very simple – if you want an election, get an extension and let’s have an election.”
Even the SNP, which flirted with a vote of no confidence, backed down from doing Johnson’s bidding.
Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: “How despicable that he refers to members of this House, doing their duty to protect their constituents, and he uses language such as ‘surrender’. It is language which is not suitably for the Prime Minister of any country.”
After being criticised by Speaker John Bercow for saying Johnson had been “lying” and “cheating”, Blackford appeared to dampen down his position, calling for the Prime Minister to resign rather than ousted in a confidence vote.
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