As befits current state of politics, PMQs kicked off with a touch of chaos

As befits the current state of politics, Prime Minister's Questions kicked off with a touch of chaos.

“I will not tolerate such behaviour,” shouted a furious Lindsay Hoyle, speaker of the Commons, his finger jabbing angrily. "Either shut up or get out.”

His voice momentarily rose to a high-pitched squeak as he attempted to quell the noise around him.

Watching from home, it was hard to figure out what on earth was going on.

Boris Johnson faces PMQs


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It later transpired Alba MPs Kenny MacAskill and Neale Hanvey had staged a protest over the UK Government’s refusal to agree to a second independence referendum.

"Scotland’s voice will be heard,” the party thundered in a press release. Unfortunately, it had actually been quite difficult to hear either of them.

And in a moment that slightly dampened the impact of their stunt, Mr Hoyle had to repeatedly ask his clerk for their names in order to kick them out of the chamber.

It was probably the biggest burn in a PMQs that should have felt historic but fell vaguely flat.


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Commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle was less than impressed. Picture: UK Parliament

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had fun with the surreal developments of the last week.

"May I welcome the new cabinet to their places,” he began. “We have a new Chancellor who accepted a job from the Prime Minister on Wednesday afternoon and then told him to quit on Thursday morning, a new Northern Ireland Secretary who once asked if you need a passport to get to Derry, and the new Education Secretary whose junior ministers have literally been giving the middle finger to the public.

“It is truly the country’s loss that they will only be in post for a few weeks.”


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For his part, Prime Minister (for now) Boris Johnson seemed to have decided this could be his last PMQs, despite Westminster not breaking for recess until July 21.

Thanking Sir Keir for “the style in which he’s conducted himself”, he added: “I think it would be fair to say he’s been considerably less lethal than other members of this house.”

It was a good line, and certainly better than his earlier insistence that any of the hopefuls vying to replace him would wipe the floor with “Captain Crasharooni Snoozefest”.

No, me neither.


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Meanwhile, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford warned whoever becomes the next Tory leader “will make Genghis Khan look like a moderate”.

In response, Mr Johnson landed a blow by referring to rumoured internal unhappiness over Mr Blackford’s own position.

"I feel a real twinge that this is probably virtually the last time I’ll have the opportunity to answer a question – perhaps because he’s going or because I’m going, I don’t know,” he smirked.

Mr Blackford looked decidedly unimpressed. If it helps, Ian, we all felt that way by the end.


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