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Boris Johnson makes chicken jibe after Jeremy Corbyn warns PM has ‘no authority’

The Labour leader claimed the PM was ‘absolutely desperate to avoid scrutiny’.

Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister’s Questions (House of Commons/PA)
Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister’s Questions (House of Commons/PA)

By Richard Wheeler, George Ryan and Elizabeth Arnold, PA Political Staff

Boris Johnson labelled Jeremy Corbyn a “chlorinated chicken” over Brexit before swearing in the Commons, amid Labour warnings he has “no authority and no majority”.

The Prime Minister deployed jokes in a bid to fight back against Labour leader Mr Corbyn, who repeatedly demanded the Government should publish official documents which show the impact of a no-deal Brexit on food and medicine supplies.

Mr Johnson highlighted a shadow minister’s suggestion that Labour’s spending policies were a “shit-or-bust strategy”, adding: “I say it’s both, Mr Speaker.”

His remarks came after Mr Corbyn asked for evidence of details that the PM is negotiating for a deal and not trying to “run down the clock”.

The Opposition leader also warned people have a “great deal to fear” if Mr Johnson does to the country what he has done to the Conservative Party in the last 24 hours.

This has included the PM withdrawing the whip from 21 of his MPs who rebelled by backing a bid to stop a no-deal Brexit on October 31.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Corbyn said: “Yesterday it was revealed that the Prime Minister’s negotiating strategy is to run down the clock.

“And that the Attorney General told the Prime Minister that his belief that the European Union would drop the backstop was a complete fantasy.

“Are these reports accurate or can the Prime Minister provide the detail of the proposals he’s put forward to the EU?”

He's asking for mobs and Momentum activists to paralyse the traffic in his name. What are they supposed to chant? What is the slogan? 'What do we want? Dither and delay. When do want it? We don't know' Boris Johnson on Jeremy Corbyn

Responding, Mr Johnson said his strategy was to get a deal by the summit on October 17 and “to get Brexit done”.

In his first Prime Minister’s Questions, he added: “What his surrender bill would do is wreck any chance of the talks and we don’t know his strategy at all.

“He’s asking for mobs and Momentum activists to paralyse the traffic in his name.

“What are they supposed to chant? What is the slogan? ‘What do we want? Dither and delay. When do want it? We don’t know’.

“That’s his policy. Can he confirm now that he will allow the people of this country to decide on what he is giving up in their name with a general election on October 15 – or is he frit?”

Mr Corbyn probed further about potential increases to food prices in the event of a no-deal Brexit, asking: “Will the Prime Minister publish the Yellowhammer documents so that people can see which food prices will go up and by how much?”

The PM insisted preparations for no-deal are “very far advanced” before adding: “I know he’s worried about free trade deals with America but there’s only one chlorinated chicken that I can see in this House and he’s on that bench.”

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(PA Graphics)

Mr Corbyn later said Mr Johnson was “absolutely desperate to avoid scrutiny”.

He went on: “I can see why he’s desperate to avoid scrutiny – he has no plan to get a new deal, no authority and no majority.

“If the Prime Minister does to the country what he has done to his party in the last 24 hours, I think a lot of people have a great deal to fear from his incompetence, his vacillation and his refusal to publish known facts that are known to him about the effects of a no-deal Brexit.”

Mr Johnson said Mr Corbyn would not submit the “surrender Bill” to the verdict of the people in an election, adding: “We think the friends of this country can be found in Paris, Berlin and in the White House, and he thinks they’re in the Kremlin, Tehran and in Caracas – and I think he is Caracas, Mr Speaker.”

The PM listed his plans for police, the NHS and the economy before highlighting comments by shadow education secretary Angela Rayner.

Mr Johnson said: “The shadow education secretary says that their economic policy is, I quote Mr Speaker by your leave, ‘shit-or-bust’.

“I say it’s both, Mr Speaker.”

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford claimed Mr Johnson was”behaving like a dictator more than a democrat” as he called on the Prime Minister to “finally act to remove the threat of a catastrophic no-deal Brexit”.

PA

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