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Chlorinated chickens and election challenge - Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces heated first PMQs

Andrew Madden

By Andrew Madden

Boris Johnson has faced a heated first session of Prime Minister's questions since he lost his Commons majority and had his Brexit plans potentially thwarted.

The questions followed on from a dramatic night at Westminster on Tuesday, when a group of Tory rebels joined forces with the opposition to take control of parliamentary business in a bid to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

This was just hours after MP Phillip Lee dramatically crossed the floor of the house and defected from the Conservatives to the Lib Dems, wiping out the PM's Commons majority.

During PMQs, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn repeatedly challenged Mr Johnson to outline the proposals he has put before the EU negotiators. In response, the PM said he would not "negotiate in public" and accused Mr Corbyn of having no Brexit plan except for "dithering and delay".

The PM was also quizzed about potential food and medicine shortages in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which prompted accusations of "fear mongering" towards the opposition benches.

In one heated exchange, the Tory leader branded his opposition counterpart a "chlorinated chicken".

Boris Johnson's Government is facing a vote on whether to delay Brexit if a deal cannot be made with the EU - something the PM is unequivocally opposed to.

In response to the threat, Mr Johnson has tabled a motion calling for a snap general election, which will require the support of two-thirds of MPs to go ahead.

Mr Johnson labelled the opposition's motion a "surrender bill" which would "wreck any chance of the talks" to achieve a new deal with Brussels.

He challenged Mr Corbyn: "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?"

Boris Johnson even appeared to implore Jeremy Corbyn to "call an election, you great big girl's blouse" as the Labour leader claimed the PM was "absolutely desperate to avoid scrutiny".

Mr Corbyn also questioned the Prime Minister over reports his strategy in Brexit talks was to "run down the clock" ahead of the deadline.

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