MPs return to bear-pit at Westminster and Boris floors proceedings with Jo Cox comment

Thursday 26th September 2019

It was never going to be business as usual when MPs returned to Westminster yesterday, after all these are extraordinary moments in the UK’s political history, however, few were expecting the level of passion and anger that resounded across the chamber last night.

Returning to the UK from the UN summit in the States, it wasn’t until early evening that the prime minister took his seat in the House of Commons for the first time since the Supreme Court had deemed his proroguing of parliament unlawful.

The atmosphere had already developed into little more than a bear-pit, with the usually mild-mannered Attorney General, bellowing and punching the air with anger and frustration, so it was no surprise that The Speaker was pushed to his limit to maintain control when the PM arrived.

Vitriolic statements came from both sides of the divide. Opposition parties seeking contrition, humility and even an apology from Boris Johnson for breaking the law and on the other side a government that sought to belittle and undermine their opponents’ demands to stop a no deal Brexit.

Above all the anger displayed was immense and the frustration on both sides tangible, but it was Johnson, as ever, who delivered the coup d’etat when he suggested that murdered MP Jo Cox would be on his side.

Becoming as well-known for his gaffes as President Trump, it was a question from Labour MP Paula Sheriff that crowned the PM’s actions last night.

Pointing to a memorial plaque for Jo Cox, who was an ardent remainer in the Brexit debate, Ms Sheriff stated, “: "We should not resort to using offensive, dangerous or inflammatory language for legislation that we do not like, and we stand here under the shield of our departed friend with many of us in this place subject to death threats and abuse every single day.”

This request to curb the vitriol in the House was however, met with the response from Johnson that, the best way to honour Jo Cox was simply to “get Brexit done”

The gasps across the House, particularly on the Opposition benches, were overwhelming and the subsequent fallout today from Jo’s husband was immense.

The Halloween deadline is only 35 days away and there is absolutely no doubt that last night proved that the next month is going to be politically brutal.

Johnson agreed last night that he would obey the Supreme Court’s decision, although he did not agree with it, he said there were continuing negotiations with the EU, but would not disclose them and he insisted he would not be asking for an extension, even though the Hilary Benn Act, which he consistently referred to as the Surrender Act meant he could not leave the EU without a deal.

Last night parliament was definitely a bear-pit and as everyone knows, when a kid animal is cornered it will lash out. It seems there is little doubt that Johnson is already doing this and there will be more of the same in the coming days.

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