PMQs: Boris Johnson accused of 'pretending' over Government's record in wake of no-confidence vote

Boris Johnson has defended his Government’s record while coming under intense pressure at Prime Minister’s Questions, declaring they had done “very big and very remarkable things” as he was attacked over a lack of long-term plans to fix the health sector.

Mr Johnson was facing Parliament for the first time since surviving a confidence vote, with pressure mounting to spell out how he plans to cut taxes to win back support from the 41 per cent of Tory MPs who did not back him.

Tensions are running high after 148 of the 359 Conservative MPs refused to support him in the vote of confidence.

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Boris Johnson responds to criticism of his Government's NHS record at Prime Minister's Questions. Picture: BBC Parliament

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer attacked Mr Johnson’s Government over its health record, both before and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Pretending no rules were broken didn’t work,” he said.

"Pretending the economy is moving didn’t work and pretending to build 40 new hospitals won’t work either. They want him to change, but he can’t. As always with this Prime Minister, when hes falling short he just changes the rules and lowers the bar.”

The Prime Minister claimed standards had been raised in the NHS, arguing: "This line of questioning is satirical coming from a Labour Government.”

Boris Johnson responds to criticism of his Government's NHS record at Prime Minister's Questions. Picture: BBC Parliament

Mr Johnson had started PMQs by declaring: "This Government has done some very big and very remarkable things which they [my opponents] do not necessarily agree with.”

The range of issues which have caused discontent in the Tory ranks means there is no single response the Prime Minister can make to win over doubters.

While it was the Sue Gray report into lockdown parties in Downing Street which prompted the confidence vote, it also revealed deep unhappiness among MPs on different wings of the party across a range of issues.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture: Chris Furlong/Getty Images

They include promised legislation to override the Northern Ireland Protocol with the EU, as well as concerns over the high levels of tax and spending amid reports that rebel MPs could start staging “vote strikes” on policies they oppose.

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