Corbyn takes on Boris Johnson in first Commons showdown
posted by Alasdair Clark | 23sc
July 25, 2019
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Jeremy Corbyn has faced his first Commons showdown with newly installed PM Boris Johnson, demanding detail on the unelected PM's plans.
The Labour leader said the country was "deeply worried" that the new prime minister over-estimates his own ability.
With characteristic flourish but precious little detail, Johnson followed the Trump playbook telling a packed House of Commons that he would make Britain the "greatest country on Earth.
The new PM tore up previous plans for immigration whilst saying the rights of EU citizens in the UK would be secured.
Johnson pledged an "Australian style" points-based immigration system to attract the "best and brightest talent from around the world".
His old enemy Michael Gove had been put in charge of no-deal planning, the PM said, repeating campaign messages that he would prefer to leave the EU with a deal on October 31 but would also be ready for No Deal.
Responding, Corbyn accused Johnson of "hastily" throwing together a hard right cabinet, including the first home secretary in a generation to support a return of the death penalty.
Corbyn also said the new PM was "flip-floping" on Brexit, having been in Theresa May's cabinet when the backstop was negotiated.
In a pointed barb about his opponents fitness for high office, Corbyn said Johnson should correct previous statements about the EU which had been proven to be wrong.
"The office of prime minister requires integrity and honesty," Corbyn said.
After Donald Trump labelled Boris Johnson "Britain Trump", the Labour leader said people feared the prime minister could turn the UK into a "vassal state" of Trump's America.
Ending his response, Corbyn said: "The challenges to end austerity, tackle inequality, resolve Brexit and tackle the climate emergency are what will define the new Prime Minister.
"Instead, we have a hard right Cabinet staking everything on tax cuts for the few and a reckless race to the bottom Brexit. He says he has pluck, nerve and ambition. Our country does not need arm-waving bluster but competence, seriousness and, after a decade of division policies for the few, to focus on the interests of the many."