Wednesday, 09 October 2019 13:32


The SNP has accused Boris Johnson of "ducking scrutiny at every opportunity” after new statistics revealed that he has attended just one PMQs session since becoming Prime Minister - the lowest number for a new Prime Minister in more than 20 years.

Research published by the House of Commons Library following a request by SNP MP Kirsty Blackman compared Boris Johnson’s record of appearing for PMQs to his predecessors. The Tory leader would have been at PMQs today had the UK government not prorogued Parliament ahead of a Queen’s Speech. 

The statistics found that Johnson will have been Prime Minister for 83 days by 15 October 2019, and he will have answered PMQs on just one occasion – 4th September 2019.

The figure is in stark contrast to his predecessors –

John Major – 17 PMQ appearances
Tony Blair – 9
Gordon Brown – 4
David Cameron – 8
Theresa May - 3

Kirsty Blackman, the SNP’s Westminster Depute Leader, said:

“Since Boris Johnson took office – thanks to the votes of a handful of Tory activists rather than the public - his premiership has been dominated by a policy of ducking and diving scrutiny at every opportunity.

“It is staggering and shameful that since becoming Prime Minister in July, he has only appeared in Parliament for PMQs just once. That marks a far cry from his Vote Leave days of ‘taking back control’ – it looks increasingly like he is squatting in 10 Downing Street.

“To add to his sole appearance at PMQs since July, Boris Johnson has faced seven Parliamentary votes and has lost every single one of them. He has purged his party of MPs. He has shamefully attempted to subvert the rule of law in an attempt to push through his extreme Brexit plans.

"He has lost all authority and credibility - and the longer he clings on to office the greater the threat to our economy, jobs and people’s livelihoods.

“People in Scotland are looking on in horror at the chaos consuming Westminster and the bleak Brexit Britain being imposed upon us. It is clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect our interests and economy is to become an independent country.”

House of Commons Library: 

On 15 October 2019, Boris Johnson will have been Prime Minister for 83 days.  He will have answered Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on one occasion – 4 September.
His predecessors

Prime Minister Took office 83 days later PMQs attended
John Major 28 Nov 1990 19 Feb 1991 17
Tony Blair 2 May 1997 24 July 1997 9
Gordon Brown 27 June 2007 18 Sept 2007 4
David Cameron 11 May 2010 2 Aug 2010 8
Theresa May 13 July 2016 4 Oct 2016 3

Some of the differences in the above table can be explained as follows:
·                John Major faced PMQs twice a week;
·                Both Tony Blair and David Cameron assumed office immediately following a general election, and their initial 83 days ended early in the summer recess.
·                Gordon Brown and Theresa May assumed office much closer to the summer recess.

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