Boris Johnson needs his MPs back to stop him being humiliated, claims broadcaster

Boris Johnson at PMQs in the House of Commons. Photograph: Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament.

Boris Johnson at PMQs in the House of Commons. Photograph: Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament. - Credit: Archant

A broadcaster has claimed that Boris Johnson needs his MPs back in the House of Commons to avoid repeated humiliation.

James O'Brien was analysing the latest Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons as he pointed towards yet another humiliation for the prime minister up against Labour's new leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Speaking on his LBC programme, he said: 'I'm tempted to play a little game. Which of these three scandals will be most damaging to Boris Johnson?

'The abject failure to reach 100,000 tests per day, which was pretty much the only thing that they were trumpeting for the whole of April.

'The deaths in care homes that he was utterly filleted on. If you're being cross-examined by a lawyer, especially one of Keir Starmer's calibre and he knows where and when you said stuff, don't deny you said it.

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'Or the fact they claimed comparisons with other countries is unhelpful and started claiming that after seven weeks of publishing comparisons with other countries every day and only started complaining they were unhelpful when we became the worst hit country in Europe.'

Referring back to the leadership debates during the general election, O'Brien then pointed out that it is much more difficult for leaders to distract from the question and answers session without the theatrics of an audience.

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He said: 'With a few hundred MPs behind him, baying and barking regardless of how badly things had gone for him, perhaps the reaction many of the public had got would be very different.

'Because that was a humiliation.'

It comes as Jacob Rees-Mogg called for MPs to return to the House of Commons to set an example for the rest of the country.

The leader of the Commons said: 'The government's advice is quite clear: work from home if you can.

'And Mr Speaker, as you made clear, many members of the House staff will be able to continue to work from home even with the House of Commons operating in physical form.

'Indeed, very few additional plans will need to be put in place on the premises, members of staff will be able to continue working from home and the overwhelming majority of the House community will be able to continue to work from home, the exception being Members of Parliament themselves.

'Why is that? Because the government's advice is if you need to go to work you must go to work.'

He added: 'There is no cross-cutting of debate, no ability to advance arguments or take them forward. Simply a series of prepared statements made one after another.

'That's not the House of Commons in its proper duty, in its proper role of scrutiny of the government.'

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