PMQs sketch: If a Boris Johnson falls in an empty party, does it make a sound?

Boris Johnson turned up at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday needing the performance of a lifetime to save his struggling premiership.

Instead he brought old lines and tired lies in a performance so bad even his own MPs have stopped cheering.

There is an element of allegiances to PMQs, with often a strong Labour performance rallying troops around even the most embattled of Tory prime ministers.

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This, however, was not the case, as the Conservative party appeared to decide there is a limit somewhere to their support.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson could be waving goodbye to Downing Street.
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Mr Johnson told the house he had acted swiftly on deputy chief whip Chris Pincher the moment he knew of the allegations – a comment met with laughter from across the House.

It was a marked moment for a Prime Minister who was once a witty political force, able to pull broad coalitions and a range of voters together.

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Mr Johnson repeated his claims about the Labour leader supporting Jeremy Corbyn. He stressed again how much he’d done for Ukraine, but it was not enough.

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Mr Johnson’s answers were met with a ghostly silence, a point not helped by his own Welsh secretary laughing as Sir Keir Starmer called the Cabinet the “charge of the lightweight brigade”.

This was not so much a grilling of the Prime Minister as a humbling, Mr Johnson turning for support only to find there was nobody left to cover for him.

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Thinking perhaps it was over, things then got worse as Sajid Javid entered the fray.

After a warm response to the former health secretary’s resignation, the Prime Minister may have hoped for a soft speech.

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He was instead met with a character assassination so polite you’d almost feel obligated to thank him for it afterwards if it wasn’t so brutal.

Mr Javid revealed Downing Street had lied to him about the parties, lied about Mr Pincher, and portrayed Mr Johnson not just as a threat to the Government, but the Conservative party as a whole.

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He spoke of young people no longer trusting the Government, a point perhaps not helped by it never doing a single thing for them.

Crucially, Mr Javid said “not doing anything was a decision”, in a clear plea to his Cabinet colleagues.

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Mr Johnson survives, but his excuses and list of allies grows thin.

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