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Boris blasted by furious MPs for telling them they should honour murdered Jo Cox by ‘getting Brexit done’

BORIS Johnson has been blasted by furious MPs after he told the Commons they should honour Jo Cox by “getting Brexit done”.

The PM sparked outrage in the chamber after he was told to temper his language by Labour MP Paula Sheriff.


BORIS FURY

The emotional clash in the Commons came after the PM was repeatedly challenged over his use of the word “surrender” to describe the bill passed by MPs to block Brexit earlier this month.

Ms Sheriff, MP for Dewsbury, fumed that Mr Johnson "continually used pejorative language to describe an Act of Parliament passed by this House".

Pointing to a plaque in the chamber, commemorating Mrs Cox, she said: "We should not resort to using offensive, dangerous or inflammatory language for legislation that we do not like, and we stand here under the shield of our departed friend with many of us in this place subject to death threats and abuse every single day."

"They often quote his words 'Surrender Act', 'betrayal', 'traitor' and I for one am sick of it.

We should not resort to using offensive, dangerous or inflammatory language for legislation that we do not like, and we stand here under the shield of our departed friend with many of us in this place subject to death threats and abuse every single day.

"We must moderate our language, and it has to come from the prime minister first."

But firing back, the PM said: "I have to say, Mr Speaker, I've never heard such humbug in all my life."

Tracey Brabin, who succeeded Mrs Cox as MP for Batley and Spen, said Mr Johnson needed to temper his remarks so that "we will all feel secure when we're going about our jobs".

Mr Johnson replied: “the best way to honour the memory of Jo Cox and indeed the best way to bring this country together would be, I think, to get Brexit done".

Speaking this morning, Mrs Cox's widower, Brendan Cox, said he felt "a bit sick" at the way her name was being used and appealed for both sides to calm down.

He just proved that he has no emotional intelligence because then to say that the best thing we can do to remember Jo is 'to get Brexit done' when Jo was a passionate Remainer.

 

Ms Brabin told BBC's Radio 5: "He just proved that he has no emotional intelligence because then to say that the best thing we can do to remember Jo is 'to get Brexit done' when Jo was a passionate Remainer .

“Only the day before her tragic murder she was on the Thames with her family campaigning to stay in the EU – it just seemed extraordinary.”

"It got gasps around the chamber, because remember that Jo worked cross-party – she had friends in all parties. And just the crassness of it was deeply shocking."

Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said all people "had a responsibility to be mild in our language when we're speaking in this House or outside".

"I'm afraid to say it's something where all sides err from time to time and it'd be invidious to pick on individual examples but we have a responsibility of leadership," he added.

COMMONS CLASH

Labour boss Jeremy Corbyn slammed the PM's language last night and said it "was indistinguishable from the far right", while Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said Mr Johnson's comments were "a disgrace".

She added: "He heard the pleas of MPs, many of whom who have faced death threats, to moderate his language and dismissed their concerns with the same callous bluster that has become his trademark.”

Former cabinet minister Amber Rudd – who quit the Government and the Tory Party over Mr Johnson's approach to Brexit – told ITV's Peston programme the premier's remarks were "dishonest and dangerous".

When asked if a referendum was a better option than a general election, Ms Rudd said: "Better? Probably yes … probably better than a general election, because my concern is a general election wouldn't resolve anything.

"If we end up not being able to resolve this, the last resort would have to be a referendum."

'GUTTER' POLITICS

During an interview with GMB this morning Mr Cox said British politics had "descended into the gutter" and that both sides of the Commons needed to think about their language.

He said: “We can disagree with each other passionately – Jo wouldn't step back from what she believed in – that’s different from using frankly rhetorical flourishes.

“It’s the kind of language which creates a very dangerous environment where violence is more likely.

“That's on all sides – not just Leavers and Remainers.

“There's danger where we see the worst language and rhetoric from the other side and excuse our own.

“[We should] take a deep breath, to realise that language has real world consequences – my family are a living embodiment of that – and take personal responsibility for that.”

The best way to honour Jo is for all of us (no matter our views) to stand up for what we believe in, passionately and with determination. But never to demonise the other side and always hold onto what we have in common.

After the Commons clash last night, he said: "The best way to honour Jo is for all of us (no matter our views) to stand up for what we believe in, passionately and with determination. But never to demonise the other side and always hold onto what we have in common," he tweeted.

Despite Mr Johnson's attacks, opposition parties again made clear they would not agree to an election until they were sure the threat of a no-deal Brexit on October 31 was off the table.

Downing Street said if opposition MPs did not take up the Prime Minister's offer to table a no-confidence motion, the Government would take it as a mandate to press on with Brexit.

Mr Johnson was forced back to Westminster, cutting short his visit to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, after the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday his five-week suspension of Parliament was illegal.

The Government will, however, ask MPs on Thursday to agree to a three-day break for the Commons next week while the Tories stage their annual party conference in Manchester.

But amid the angry mood at Westminster, the opposition parties appear unlikely to agree, meaning Mr Johnson could be forced to rearrange his keynote speech due to be held on the final day on Wednesday.



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