Boris Johnson's 'derogatory' language in UK parliament angers lawmakers

Published: Sep 27, 2019, 08:49 IST | Agencies | London

Draws backlash from Oppn and sister Rachel for remarks on Jo Cox, an anti-Brexit MP who was killed by a Nazi sympathiser during 2016 EU referendum campaign

A file pic of Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the UK Parliament. Pic/AFP
A file pic of Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the UK Parliament. Pic/AFP

London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced a backlash from furious lawmakers on Thursday over his use of charged and confrontational language in Parliament about opponents of his Brexit plan. Johnson went on the offensive when MPs returned to work on Wednesday following a Supreme Court ruling calling the chamber's suspension in the run-up to Brexit unlawful. He refused to apologise and repeatedly slammed parliament for passing a "surrender act" and a "humiliation bill" requiring him to seek a Brexit delay past the October 31 deadline if he fails to reach an exit agreement with the EU.

Johnson also brushed off concerns that his forceful language might endanger legislators as "humbug." But the real uproar came when he said the best way to honour Jo Cox — an anti-Brexit Labour MP murdered by a Nazi sympathiser during the 2016 EU referendum campaign — "would be, I think, to get Brexit done".

"Feel a bit sick at Jo's name being used this way. The best way to honour Jo is for all of us (no matter our views) to stand up for what we believe in... but never to demonise the other side," Cox's widower Brendan tweeted.

Brendan, Jo Cox's widower
Brendan, Jo Cox's widower

Even some members of Johnson's Conservatives appeared taken aback. Johnson's sister also criticised him for "tasteless" remarks about a murdered MP. Rachel Johnson particularly criticised his remark that the best way to honour Jo Cox was to deliver Brexit. "I think it was particularly tasteless for those who are grieving a mother, MP and friend to say the best way to honour her memory is to deliver the thing she and her family campaigned against -- Brexit," Rachel Johnson said.
Johnson had also challenged Opposition parties to table a no-confidence motion in his government to trigger a general election.

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