Jeremy Corbyn has labelled Boris Johnson a “part-time prime minister” after the PM holidayed in a mansion rather than visit any of the communities hit by severe flooding.
Johnson had not been seen in public for 12 days before Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions, when Corbyn laid in to his record of being absent during major incidents.
The PM faced criticism last week for staying in his Kent country house while Corbyn himself visited flood victims hit by Storm Dennis.
The Labour leader told the Commons: “He was keen to pose for cameras when there was a [flooding] crisis during the election, but he often goes AWOL.”
“He was late to respond to the London riots because he was on holiday, he was on a private island when the Iranian general was assassinated, and last week he had his head in the sand in a mansion in Kent.
“The MP for Calder Valley, another of his colleagues, said it’s not good enough. How can the country trust a part-time prime minister?”
Corbyn then attacked Johnson’s appearance at a private Tory black tie ball on Tuesday night, “schmoozing Tory Party donors… instead of getting out there and supporting the people who are suffering because of the floods”.
The Labour leader called for the government to invest in flood defences and provide “real insurance” for victims.
Corbyn condemns Johnson for failing to visit flood-hit homes
Johnson breezily dismissed Corbyn’s comments, saying the government has been investing in flood defences.
He then reeled off Tory election pledges, including beginning work on building 40 new hospitals and recruiting 20,000 police officers.
Johnson added: “Listen to them [Labour] jabbering away because they still can’t decide whether or not they want to be in the European Union, and the hottest topic of debate in the Labour Party is what job [Corbyn] should have in the shadow cabinet after the leadership election.
“They are engaging themselves in narcissistic debate about the Labour Party, we are getting on in delivering the people’s priorities.”