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Labour’s Thornberry jokes Boris Johnson should take a Brexit ‘paternity test’

The shadow foreign secretary received a standing ovation for her speech.

Boris Johnson should take a paternity test for Brexit, the shadow foreign secretary has suggested.

Emily Thornberry took a swipe at the Foreign Secretary during a speech proposing reforms to the way decisions are made on arms exports, joking that Mr Johnson should appear on The Jeremy Kyle Show.

Ms Thornberry told delegates at the Labour Party conference in Brighton to take a moment to “sympathise with poor old Boris” who she said had “not been happy lately”.

“Apparently he’s sick of being blamed for the way that Brexit is going and all the broken promises of the Leave campaign.

“I’m sorry – what? Who does he think made all those promises? Who does he think was in charge of the Leave campaign?

“I know that Boris doesn’t like paternity tests but maybe we need one for Brexit.”

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(Jeff J Mitchell/PA)

She continued: “Maybe we should take him into a studio with Jeremy Kyle: ‘Sorry, Mr Johnson, we got the results back and it looks like this one is one of yours’.

“‘It must have been that wild night out you had with Michael Gove… I’ve calculated your maintenance payments and that’ll be £350 million a week’.”

Ms Thornberry announced the next Labour government would “immediately reform the way decisions are made on the export of arms”.

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(Gareth Fuller/PA)

Criticising the arms export decisions made by the Government as “entirely subjective”, she said the process leads to “nonsensical double-standards, where the Government can decide too late that selling arms to Myanmar is wrong but immediately increase its sales to Saudi”.

“It is an arms control regime that was already outdated but which the Tories have systematically abused, undermined and left fatally discredited.”

She said Labour would conduct a “wholesale reform of the legal and regulatory framework fully implementing the International Arms Trade Treaty with clear rules, tests and criteria for decision-making, based on independent, expert advice and the objective assessment of evidence”.

“A new system, that will prevent the misuse and abuse of licences and adhere to the principles of transparency, true Parliamentary accountability and freedom from undue influence.”

Ms Thornberry, who received a standing ovation for her speech to a packed conference hall, said it was “not enough for us just to be better than the Tories” but that Labour must “set an entirely new standard for Britain and a shining example to the world”.

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