Johnson Is Inciting Hatred, Paula Sherriff Tells James O'Brien

26 September 2019, 15:39

MP Paula Sherriff told James O'Brien that "Boris Johnson is inciting hatred to MPs" with his aggressive language, after he rejected MPs' calls to temper his words.

Boris Johnson rejected her point that his aggressive language fuelled public abuse and death threats and she referenced the tragic death of Jo Cox.

After her impassioned speech, the Prime Minister simply replied: "I have never heard so much humbug in all my life."

The Labour MP told James that a number of Tory MPs have said they are "mortified" at Boris Johnson's behaviour.

James asked: "When you heard that response, you must have been close to pinching yourself?"

"Yes, you've just articulated really well what I was feeling there. I was angry after he said that, but also I couldn't quite believe it. This was our Prime Minister and a female MP has just described how death threats and abuse were happening. Not just to me, I was speaking on behalf of a large number of MPs and indeed cross party MPs, and his response was to say 'humbug'."

The leader of our country, that is how seriously he takes the daily threats that are coming to MPs."

She reasoned his dismissive reaction was because this sort of language is "entirely deliberate" and "all part of the strategy", which she says demonstrates "once more that he is absolutely unfit to hold the great office of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom."

Sherriff told James she "felt a duty" to step in and make these comments after seeing Johnson's language being echoed on social media.

"I hadn't intended on going on and being quite so emotional or speaking for such a long time, but it came from the heart. It really did. People are scared, James," said Paula Sherriff.

Last night she told the House of Commons: "This evening the Prime Minister has continually used pejorative language to describe an act of parliament passed by this House.

"We should not resort to using offensive, dangerous or inflammatory language for legislation that we do not like.

"We stand here under the shield of our departed friend [Jo Cox] with many of us here subjected to death threats and abuse every single day."And they often quote his words: Surrender Act, betrayal, traitor. And I for one are sick of it."