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Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. (Photo: House of Commons - PA Images via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson accused Keir Starmer of "being out of his tiny mind" as he repeatedly lost his rag at prime minister's questions.
The PM appeared particularly annoyed when the Labour leader raised allegations in today’s Telegraph that he had criticised the BBC's coverage of the war in Ukraine.
The newspaper reported that Johnson accused the BBC and the Archbishop of Canterbury of being more critical of the plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda than Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Starmer said Johnson had “accused the BBC of not being critical enough of Putin” and said he lacked the “backbone to repeat it in public”.
— ITV News (@itvnews) April 20, 2022
Johnson responded by protesting that he said “nothing of the kind” and described Starmer as a “Corbynista in an Islington suit”.
As he grew visibly more cross, the PM gestured towards Starmer saying: “I think he should withdraw what he just said – it has absolutely no basis or foundation in truth.”
Starmer accused Johnson of making a “mealy mouthed apology” over partygate publicly while “slandering” people behind closed doors.
He asked: “How can the prime minister claim to be a patriot when he deliberately attacks and degrades the institutions of our great country?”
Boris Johnson turned to face Tory MPs, saying: “How many has he had?”
The PM then faced Starmer: “It is an indication of the depths to which he’s willing to sink that he accuses me of traducing journalists – what he says is completely without any foundation whatever.”
He went on: “I did not attack the BBC last night – for their coverage of Ukraine? He must be out of his tiny mind.
“I said no such thing and there are people behind who will testify to that. He’s completely wrong.”
Later in the session, Johnson was asked by Labour MP James Murray if it would “add insult to injury” amid the cost of living crisis if the chancellor or any government minister benefitted from overseas tax havens.
Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle told Johnson he was not responsible for that before he snapped: “We are responsible for cutting taxes for everybody which is what we’re actually doing!”
Throughout the exchange, Johnson accused Starmer of being in a “Dr Who time warp” and described Labour as being “intellectually bankrupt”.
The session was particularly heated and one SNP MP was even told off for calling Johnson a “Pinocchio prime minister”.
Richard Thomson said people “just want this Pinocchio prime minister to pack his bags and go.”
Hoyle called on Thomson to withdraw the remark and “be more moderate” in his language.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.