Keir Starmer’s speech was ‘extremely political’ says Rigby
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Boris Johnson suffered the biggest rebellion of his premiership last night as 97 of his own MPs voted against Covid passes in the Commons last night. The Prime Minister introduced the legislation in a desperate bid to control the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant. Despite a last-minute charm offensive, Mr Johnson suffered a revolt so large that his majority was wiped out. Eclipsing his previous record of 54 Tory MPs revolting, the Prime Minister was forced to rely on Labour to get the measures through Parliament.
The latest edition of Prime Minister’s Questions will go ahead today as Mr Johnson faces a gruelling morning ahead of him.
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted on Wednesday morning: “Boris Johnson is too weak to lead.
“The public is safer thanks to Labour putting people’s health before party politics.”
Tuesday night’s rebellion is the second-largest by Conservatives against their own leader, beaten only by Theresa May’s first Meaningful Vote on Brexit.
Sir Keir whipped his own MPs to back the Government’s measures.
However, he faced his own rebellion as some 22 Labour MPs decided to rebel against mandatory vaccination for NHS staff.
Labour frontbencher Rachael Maskell quit after voting against her own party.
Although she is yet to make a public statement about her decision, her resignation was confirmed by Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting.
Sir Keir has challenged the Prime Minister in recent weeks on a number of things, but has regularly backed him in the past, notably on Brexit and coronavirus measures.
GB News presenter Mark Dolan hit out at the leader of the opposition on Sunday evening in a brutal attack.
He said: “I despair about politics. I honestly don’t know who is worse at the moment, the party-loving Boris Johnson, king of the Zoom quiz, or his right-hand man, the deputy Prime Minister of this country, Sir Keir Starmer.
“That’s right. Our deputy Prime Minister.
“And in case you’re wondering, the leader of our opposition now is this man. That’s right, Steve Baker, who is leading a Tory rebellion of around 60 MPs against Plan B restrictions.”
He labelled the proposed restrictions “damaging” and “scientifically unproven”.
Mr Dolan continued: “But it’s Boris and Keir in the driving seat — the most terrifying double act since Hale and Pace.
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“With Tories rebelling, it’s BoJo’s trusty deputy Sir Keir whose votes will see the legislation pass on Tuesday.”
He labelled them the “coalition from hell”, “the Chuckle brothers” and a “right pair of clowns”.
Sir Keir has faced further criticism for backing the recent coronavirus policies.
Political commentator David Foxx tweeted: “Keir Starmer said the Tory rebellion shows that the Prime Minister is weak.
“This from the so-called ‘opposition’ that’s supported every Covid measure and vote that the Government has introduced.
“The REAL question sits behind the PM in Parliament, not in front of him.”
Likewise, political analyst Mahyar Tousi tweeted: “I’d like to congratulate Keir Starmer on his new position as the Secretary of State for Pro-Boris Propaganda.
“He’s finally in Government!”
However, Sir Keir has also been heavily praised for backing the legislation.
Labour councillor Max Finch tweeted: “If you’ve just watched Keir Starmer’s national address & couldn’t clearly see he’s a Prime Minister in waiting you need to go to Specsavers!”
Thom Brooks, professor of Law and Government at Durham University, echoed this. He said Sir Keir demonstrated “the leadership we need in Downing Street”.
Certainly, the polls seem to reflect Sir Keir’s soaring reputation.
An Ipsos Mori poll showed he leads the Prime Minister by 13 percentage points.
When asked “who would make the most capable Prime Minister”, respondents voted 44 percent in Sir Keir’s favour, and 31 percent for Mr Johnson.
It is the first time a Labour leader has come out on top with pollsters since January 2008.
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