British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to hold early parliamentary elections on October 15. He said that during his first question hour in the British parliament. But he needs a two-thirds majority for that, and Labor opposition party wants to deliver it only if there is a certainty that no Brexit will come without an agreement. The contrast led to a heated debate between Johnson and Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn at the Lower House.
As an opposition party, Labor is in principle for early elections, but at the same time remains very cautious because the party does not want to fall into a trap: the bill that must stop the no-deal scenario must first be approved. Labor will therefore not support the dissolution of parliament today.
Johnson used Labor’s reluctance to question party leader Jeremy Corbyn head-on during question time this afternoon. According to the prime minister, the opposition is now suddenly falling back out of fear for the voter. “May I ask the opposition leader to confirm that if the surrender law is approved, he will allow the citizens of this country to tell them about it on October 15? … There is only one chlorinated chicken here, and he’s sitting on that couch,” Johnson pointed to Corbyn opposite him.
He had previously urged the prime minister to be little concerned with food safety in the United Kingdom since he is in favor of a trade agreement with the United States. Besides, chlorine chickens may also be imported from the US.
Johnson Corbyn later yelled from his chair that he had to call elections, followed by “you great big girl’s blouse”, British street language for “you coward” or “sissy”. Corbyn did not respond to the word of abuse.
Johnson had already announced yesterday that he would ask the parliament to dissolve itself to organize early elections. He did so after the opposition, with the support of some twenty MPs from his Conservative party, had succeeded in taking over the parliamentary agenda, presenting them today with a bill that would stop a “no-deal” Brexit on October 31. The prime minister hopes to be able to organize the elections on 15 October, but that is not certain yet.
“When will the prime minister apologize for his racist statements?”
During the debate, Johnson also heard from Labor member Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, who was particularly angry about an article in which the prime minister compared Muslim women with a “letterbox” and “bank robbers” in 2018.
“For those of us who from a young age have had to endure and face up to being called names such as towel-head, or Taliban, or coming from bongo-bongo land, we can fully appreciate the hurt and pain of already vulnerable Muslim women when they are described as looking like bank robbers and letterboxes.” The labor member asks: “when will the prime minister finally apologize for his derogatory and racist remarks?”
Johnson defended himself by saying that it is just Labor that should apologize for the hatred for Jews and said his article just defended the right to wear anything anyone wants.