Ed Miliband was credited for making Boris Johnson look like a “second rate conman” following a blistering speech in the House of Commons yesterday.
The former Labour leader, standing in for Sir Keir Starmer, steamrollered the PM’s Brexit plan, which essentially “equips the government with the power to break the law”.
It prompted some uncomfortable fidgeting from Johnson, although he only had a taste of what was to come.
The ‘Uncomfortable Fidgeting’ look
Touching on comments from the Northern Ireland Secretary that Britain will only be breaking the law in a “specific and limited way”, Mr Miliband said:
“We’ve all heard of self-defence, the alibi defence, the innocent defence – now we have the Johnson defence”.
The PM decided to bury his head in his phone for this part of the speech – sticks and stones may break his bones but words he simply doesn’t listen to.
The ‘If I’m Not Listening He Didn’t Say It’ look
After a Home Office minister appealed to the British public to report those breaking the law on the same day the government set in motion a Bill that could break it, Mr Miliband retorted:
“The Johnson Defence means something very specific – that there is one rule for the British public and another rule for this government” – which agitated the PM.
You can insult his colleagues, you can insult his family, but you cannot insult his cronies.
The ‘Crony Defence’ look
With the PM on the ropes, Miliband delivered the final few blows in blistering style.
“This bill speaks of a government, a Prime Minister that is casual not to say cavalier and reckless about the gravity of the issues he confronts,” he said.
Mr Johnson’s expression, courteously, was quite on-brand at this point:
But, alas, the PM saved the best to last with a look that he has perfected over the years.
No prizes for guessing what that might be.