The clashes between Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer are becoming increasingly bad-tempered. Starmer’s strategy is to ask Boris Johnson a series of questions to which there are no good answers. Boris Johnson, informed by focus group research showing that voters don’t want to see a return to partisan politics, responds by accusing Starmer of not being constructive and of undermining public confidence. The result is testy exchanges that don’t shed a huge amount of light on the situation.
Interestingly, Boris Johnson took a more emollient tone with Jeremy Hunt than he did at the liaison committee last week, when the former health secretary asked a question. Having said last that he didn’t want to set a new target, Boris Johnson today said that results for all coronavirus tests, other than those mailed in, would be delivered within 24 hours by the end of the month.
At the end of the session, Theresa May popped up to ask Boris Johnson about continuing access to EU security databases after the end of the transition period. Boris Johnson said that it all depended on the negotiation but combine this question with Theresa May’s critical comments on the government’s quarantine policy and it is clear that she intends to be a vocal backbencher in the coming months and years.