Boris Johnson calls for tempers to ‘cool’ hours after ‘angry meltdown’ during vote

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Downing Street. Photograph: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Downing Street. Photograph: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Boris Johnson has called for tempers to cool, just hours after he reportedly shouted at Labour MPs during a vote on enabling a recess for Tory party conference.

The prime minister refused to apologise for describing attempts to block a no-deal break with the EU as the "surrender act".

But he acknowledged that he would have to be able to "reach out" to opposition MPs if he was to secure their support for any new deal he negotiated with the EU.

"I need to reach out across the House of Commons," he told BBC South.

"I think it is fair enough to call the 'surrender act' what it is. I think it is absolutely reasonable. But we do need to bring people together, and get this thing done.

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"Tempers need to come down, and people need to come together because it's only by getting Brexit done that you'll lance the boil of the current anxiety and we will be able to get on with the domestic agenda."

But the calls come hours after Sky's Beth Rigby reported that MPs witnessed the prime minister have an "angry meltdown" in the voting lobby.

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She tweeted: "MP tells me that Johnson had an 'angry meltdown' in voting lobbies.

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"Am told that Jess Phillips personally challenged him as did others.

"MP tells me PM saw a group watching through the doors & then started jabbing his finger towards us all."

But minister Nadine Dorries claimed it was untrue, and said she had witnessed the alteration.

She tweeted: "I was there. The only finger jabbing and raised voice came from Jess as her friends photographed and filmed it. The PM could barely get a word in and was embarrassed and bemused as Jess shouted. But then again, I suppose she does have a book to sell."

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The evening before the prime minister provoked a furious backlash after he dismissed a complaint by one Labour MP that his "inflammatory" rhetoric risked provoking attacks on parliamentarians as "humbug".

He further angered the opposition by suggesting that the best way to honour murdered MP Jo Cox - an ardent Remainer - was to "get Brexit done".

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