Rashford more effective in holding government to account than Starmer, Johnson says
If he's going down, he's taking Keir with him
Boris Johnson quipped that footballer Marcus Rashford is doing a more effective job at holding the government to account than the Leader of the Opposition Keir Starmer, during Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday.
In something of a spectacular self own, Johnson admitted that images circulating on social media of free school meal hampers were 'disgraceful', before highlighting Rashford's work in forcing his own government to review the process.
The exchange began with Labour leader Keir Starmer asking Johnson whether he would be happy with his own children eating the food seen in these pitiful hampers.
"We've all seen images on social media of disgraceful food parcels for children, costed at about £5 each," Starmer said.
"That's not what the government promised. It's nowhere near enough. Can I ask the prime minister, would he be happy with his kids living on that? And if not, why is he happy for other people's kids to do so?"
Johnson replied: "I don't think anyone in this house is happy with the disgraceful images that we've seen of the food parcels that have been offered.
"They are appalling, they are an insult to the families that have received them.
"And I'm grateful to Marcus Rashford who highlighted the issue and is doing quite an effective job by comparison with the right honourable gentleman in holding the government to account for these issues."
Boris Johnson says Marcus Rashford is doing a more “effective job by comparison" to Keir Starmer, in holding the government to account. pic.twitter.com/V9EMEWeq6h
— PoliticsJOE (@PoliticsJOE_UK) January 13, 2021
He continued: "The company [Chartwells UK] in question has right apologised and agreed to reimburse.
"It is because we want to see our kids properly fed throughout this very difficult pandemic that we have massively increased the value of what we're providing. Another £170 million in the Covid winter grant scheme, £220 million for the holiday activities and food programme and we're now rolling out the national free school meal voucher scheme, as we did in March, to give parents the choice to give kids the food that they need.
Starmer responded: "The prime minister says these parcels are disgraceful, but it shouldn't have taken social media to shame the prime minister into action."
No, it shouldn't, should it, Keir?