Boris Johnson launched a furious attack on Jeremy Corbyn after the Labour Party leader’s attack in the House of Commons backfired, just moments before the Budget 2020.
Boris Johnson faced Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in the House of Commons at midday on Wednesday. The clash came just moments before the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, outlined the 2020 Budget. Mr Johnson was quizzed over Britain’s response to the coronavirus crisis currently sweeping across the planet as well as women’s rights after International Women’s Day.
Jeremy Corbyn attacked the Prime Minister over previous remarks made by the Conservative leader.
He said: “The Prime Minister has made repeated offensive remarks against single mothers and their children. He described them as ‘ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate’.
“Against Muslim women, saying they look like ‘bank robbers’ – against working women suggesting the best way of dealing with advice from a female colleague is just to ‘pat her on the bottom and send her on her way’. Words have consequences.
“His offensive words are backed up with offensive and discriminatory policies…can the Prime Minister apologise for his offensive comments and ensure discriminatory policies are reversed.”
Mr Johnson swiftly replied: “I am proud of what this government has done to promote the rights of women.
“I am proud we have a record number of female MPS. This is the only party that has produced two female prime ministers.
“Wouldn’t it be an amazing thing if that party was to produce a female leader of their own. Don’t hold your breath.
“I will take no lessons on sexism when good female MPs are bullied out of their party.”
Huge cheers from the Conservative benches followed the Prime Minister’s remarks.
Regarding coronavirus, the Department for Health and Social Care has announced the UK has 382 confirmed cases of the deadly virus, and six deaths.
Yesterday evening, Health Minister Nadine Dorries also confirmed she had tested positive for coronavirus, and was self-isolating at home.
Labour MP Rachael Maskell said she has since been told to do the same as she had met Ms Dorries.
Former MP, and candidate for London Mayor, Rory Stewart, even called for PMQs to be cancelled.
He wrote on Twitter: “The House of Commons should cease to meet in person. The budget should be announced online. MPs are at high risk through very frequent contacts and large gatherings. They are in danger of infecting each other in the chamber, and then going on to infect others. Time for Action. Now.”
Kate Ferguson, the Westminster correspondent for The Sun, suggested some MPs may avoid the Chamber, despite it being Budget day.
She wrote: ”Coronavirus panic appears to be spreading among MPs after Nadine Dorries has been taken ill.
“One tells me they think MPs will stay away from the Chamber even though it’s Budget day. ‘Parliament is effectively a giant cruise ship – MPs are here 14 hours a day’.”
After Prime Minister’s Questions, the 2020 Budget followed as Mr Sunak outlined the year’s plans.
And ahead of his statement, Mr Sunak told the Cabinet that the combined efforts of the Treasury and Threadneedle Street would “make the UK one of the best placed economies in the world” to cope with the impact of the virus.
But while the outbreak will be “front and centre in our minds”, Mr Sunak told senior ministers that the Budget will also deliver on promises to invest in public services and cut taxes.