Boris Johnson’s ‘People’s PMQs’ stunt backfires after he asked public for questions

PUBLISHED: 11:17 10 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:05 10 July 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressing the nation from 10 Downing Street, London, as he placed the UK on lockdown. Photograph: PA Video.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressing the nation from 10 Downing Street, London, as he placed the UK on lockdown. Photograph: PA Video.

PA Wire/PA Images

An opportunity to propose questions to Boris Johnson during an online ‘People’s PMQs’ went wrong after a majority of questions proposed to the prime minister were hostile and critical.

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.

Dubbed “People’s PMQs”, any member of the public can submit a question to the prime minister, with the least critical questions pre-selected and put to Johnson during a live 15-minute broadcast.

A promotional video on Johnson’s Twitter account for the event - compared by some to a recruitment drive for the British Army - invited people to submit their queries via Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.

But rather than receiving messages of support, the prime minister was inundated with criticisms and tricky questions that are unlikely to be selected.

A user by the name Graeme tweeted: “Why won’t you release the Russia Report and what’s your favourite dinosaur?”

@dragon77_red asked: “At what age did you become immune from telling the truth Boris???”

Some took the opportunity to drill the prime minister over his handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Benjamin Smith went for the jugular: “When will you resign for your mishandling of the pandemic?”

@Shanorme78 asked: “Are you going to repeat your Covid-19 fiasco with the second wave or are we likely to expect some timely reactions & possibly even some preemptive action this time?”

Hassan Hussain posted: “When will you apologise for the 65,000+ deaths that could’ve easily been prevented?”

Chris Peplow wondered when the PM would apologise for suggesting that care workers were to blame for the spread of coronavirus in nursing homes. “Why haven’t you said sorry to the care home workers?” he asked.

Makaela wrote: “Why aren’t doctors and nurses getting free parking any more like that’s the least you could do for them?”

Others were just happy to make fun of it all. In responding what another user might have asked Johnson, @mickwatson65 pried: “Is it ‘did you intentionally set out to be the worst prime minister EVER, or did it happen by accident?!?’”

In the last session of People’s PMQs, Johnson ended the broadcast early after he rambled on about Queen Elizabeth I and her relationship with Shakespeare.

Submissions have now closed.

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £20

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest pro-European campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.