Downing Street has insisted Boris Johnson’s exchanges at Prime Minister’s Questions fit the criteria of ‘kind and civil’ politics which the PM had called for days before.
Johnson’s press secretary Allegra Stratton was asked if nicknaming Keir Starmer “Captain Hindsight” was rude or unpleasant, something she denied.
Stratton said it was a way of making a point about Sir Keir’s position on key decisions taken during the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday she told reporters that “the prime minister believes that all of us, in our political language, in our debate, need to remember to be civil and kind to each other”.
Asked how that message tallied with Johnson’s conduct in the Commons at Prime Minister’s Questions, Stratton said: “In the prime minister’s opinion, Captain Hindsight is not an unpleasant name.
“Captain Hindsight is the description of a politician who keeps coming forward and saying that ‘the solution was obvious’ when previously he had not actually decided one way or the other.”
She added that the plea for “kind and civil language” was in relation to “the bad, unpleasant treatment that Conservative MPs received… when months ago the issue of free school meals came up and they received a great many unpleasant and unacceptable messages”.