Published On: Wed, Feb 28th, 2024

Rishi Sunak sends Keir Starmer reeling with epic PMQs slap down | Politics | News

A revved-up Rishi Sunak damned Sir Keir Starmer as “spineless, hopeless and utterly shameless” at PMQs today, as the weekly session erupted into a row about antisemitism and Islamophobia.

Sir Keir hoped to humiliate the Tories over Liz Truss’s recent appearance at CPAC in America, accusing her of “slagging off and undermining Britain at every opportunity” to sell her new book.

He ranted that Ms Truss stayed silent as the “right-wing thug” Tommy Robinson was described as a “hero”.

Asked why the PM was allowing Ms Truss to stand as a Tory MP at the election, Mr Sunak erupted at Sir Keir Starmer‘s “shamelessness”.

Mr Sunak told MPs: “If he wants to talk about former leaders and predecessors, the whole country knows his record!”

‘He sat there while antisemitism ran rife in his party. And not once but not twice backed a man who called Hamas friends.

“To their credit, the shadow chancellor, the shadow home secretary and shadow foreign secretary refused to back the former Labour leader, but he didn’t because he’s spineless, hopeless and utterly shameless”.

The Commons erupted over this with delighted Tory MPs shouting for “more!”

Sir Keir Starmer hit back that Mr Sunak is “too weak” to do anything about Liz Truss, and quoted Churchill’s line that “the price of greatness is responsibility”.

He added: “I don’t think the British public are expecting greatness from this PM, just a bit of accountability”.

Mr Sunak used this follow-up verbal onslaught to bring up Lee Anderson’s suspension as a Tory MP and contrasted it with Sir Keir Starmer‘s handling of his own Rochdale row.

The PM said: He talks about leadership, he talks about change, but when learned of something I didn’t agree with I suspended one of my MPs straight away”.

“But when he learned of vile antisemitic remarks made by a Labour candidate, what did he do? He instructed his team to defend him!

“He sent a shadow cabinet minister to campaign for him and backed him for days.

“That’s the difference between us, I act on my principles, he hasn’t got any!”

Despite an eruption of noise from MPs, Speaker Lindsay Hoyle stayed surprisingly silent amid 90 MPs calling on him to go after last week’s SNP Gaza row.

Asked by Sir Keir whether he agreed with Ms Truss that Nigel Farage may be needed to “save” the Tory party, Mr Sunak boasted about the party’s record of diversity.

He argued that the Tories’ record of the first Jewish Prime Minister, the first woman PM, the first black chancellor, the first muslim home secretary and now led by the first British Asian PM puts Labor to “shame”.

He joked that Sir Keir Starmer can only “champion men from North London!”

Referring again to the Rochdale by-election, Mr Sunak pointed out that there are 3 former Labour candidates standing, two of which are “antisemites”.

He fumed: “We expel antisemites, he makes them candidates!”

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