'Hasta la vista, baby': Boris leaves final PMQs to tears, cheers and jeers

20 July 2022, 13:19

Tory MPs give Johnson standing ovation as he leaves PMQs

By Megan Hinton

Boris Johnson told colleagues "hasta la vista, baby" as he left his final Prime Minister's Questions to a standing ovation from every Tory MP except Theresa May.

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Speaking at PMQs for the last time, Boris Johnson was met with quick quips and bashing of his colleagues who are competing to replace him as the next Prime Minister.

Opening the session on Wednesday afternoon, Mr Johnson said: "Last week I told the House that last week was possibly my last PMQs, this week probably, certainly will be my last PMQs from this despatch box - or any other despatch box."

Rishi Sunak did not attend Boris Johnson's last PMQs and was noticeably absent from the backbenches.

Opposition leader Keir Starmer paid tribute to Boris Johnson at the start of his first question and wished him, his wife and his family "the best for the future" before launching an attack on the Conservatives.

The Labour leader questioned: "Why does the Prime Minister think that those vying to replace him decided to pull out of the Sky debate last night?"

Read more: Matt Hancock explains why he's backing Rishi Sunak to be Tory leader

'Why does the Prime Minister think that those vying to replace him dec

Mr Johnson replied: "Well, I am not following this thing particularly closely, but my impression is that there has been quite a lot of debate already and I think the public are having an ample opportunity to view the talent."

Adding that any of the candidates would "wipe the floor" with Sir Keir, likening them to "some household detergent".

Sir Keir went on to joke: "I think the truth is this - they organised the TV debates because they thought it would be a great chance for the public to hear from the candidates first hand, then disaster struck because the public actually heard from the candidates first hand."

He then began to grill Mr Johnson about Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt's criticism of the government and their handling of finances, the economy and the NHS."

He asked: "Does the Prime Minister agree with with his former chancellor (Rishi Sunak) that plans put forward by the other candidates are in his words, I have got them here, 'nothing more than the fantasy economics of unfunded spending promises'?"

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Boris Johnson replied: "They know all about fantasy economics because they have already committed to £94 billion of extra tax and spending, which every household in this country would have to pay for, to the tune of about £2,100."

The Prime Minister claimed the Conservative party "managed the economy in a sensible and moderate way" throughout his time as leader.

Sir Keir later quipped: "I am going to miss the delusion.

"He's come down from his gold-wallpapered bunker one last time to tell us everything's fine."

During Tuesday night's vote in the Tory leadership race Mr Sunak was in the lead with 118, Ms Mordaunt had 92 and Ms Truss gained 86.

The candidates are being eliminated round-by-round until just two remain, when party members will choose the winner.