Jeremy Corbyn brings up Boris Johnson’s 'class-A past' in fiery clash at PMQs

12 February 2020, 12:39 | Updated: 12 February 2020, 12:48

Jeremy Corbyn confronted Boris Johnson over his apparent drug use as a teenager in a fiery clash at PMQs today amid a row over the deportation of foreign criminals to Jamaica.

Mr Corbyn questioned the Prime Minister: "Is it one rule for young black boys from the Caribbean and another for white boys from the US?"

As the PM and the Labour leader traded barbs across the dispatch box at Prime Minister's Questions, Jeremy Corbyn accused Boris Johnson's government of learning "absolutely nothing from the Windrush scandal."

Branding the Tory government "cruel and callous," the Opposition leader said they were attempting to "mislead the British people into thinking it's solely deporting foreign nationals who are guilty of murder, rape and other very serious offences."

But the Labour leader said, "this is clearly not the case."

Mr Corbyn cited a "young black boy who came to the UK aged five and is now being deported after serving time for a drugs offence."

Taking aim at the Prime Minister, who has reportedly admitted taking cocaine when he was 19, the Labour leader said: "If there was a case of a young white boy, with blonde hair, who later dabbled in class A drugs, and conspired with a friend to beat up a journalist, would he deport that boy?

"Or, is it one rule for young black boys from the Caribbean and another for white boys from the United States."

Mr Corbyn's remark prompted jeers in the Commons.

Boris Johnson was born in New York City but renounced his American citizenship in 2017.

The PM appeared to admit previously having used the drug in a GQ interview with Piers Morgan in 2007, saying: "It achieved no pharmacological, psychotropic or any other effect on me whatsoever."

Boris Johnson was the target of Jeremy Corbyn's barbs
Boris Johnson was the target of Jeremy Corbyn's barbs. Picture: PA

The Prime Minister said Mr Corbyn had demeaned himself and "besmirches the reputation of the Windrush generation."

The question from the Labour leader came just a day after a deportation flight which was due to take 50 foreign national offenders back to Jamaica was halted after a judicial review.

The flight went ahead with just 17 offenders on board.

The Home Office will now review the cases of eight people who were due to be deported to Jamaica after fresh legal representations were made.

Officials and ministers have said all were foreign criminals who committed serious offences.

But campaigners, supported by 150 MPs, say they came to the country as children, are "British in every meaningful way" and some were sentenced for one-time drug offences when they were young.