Boris Johnson is facing a backlash from MPs after he was accused of using “dangerous” language over Brexit.
In a heated Commons debate on Wednesday, the PM repeatedly accused MPs of “sabotaging” Brexit, accusing them of passing a “surrender act”.
The comments led one Labour MP to urge him to curb his “violent” remarks, arguing MPs had faced death threats from people using similar language.
In response, Mr Johnson described the intervention as “humbug”.
The highly charged debate – described by the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg as one of the most brutal she had ever witnessed – came a day after the Supreme Court ruled Mr Johnson’s suspension of Parliament unlawful.
The prime minister insisted to the Commons that the court had been “wrong to pronounce on a political question at a time of great national controversy”.
He also challenged the opposition parties to table a vote of no confidence or back a general election and face a “day of reckoning” with voters.
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- During an ill-tempered debate, the prime minister was repeatedly challenged by opposition MPs over his use of the word “surrender” to describe legislation passed earlier this month which aims to block a no-deal Brexit on 31 October.
Pointing to a plaque in the chamber commemorating Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered by a right-wing extremist days before the EU referendum in 2016, Labour’s Paula Sherriff 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 must moderate our language, and it has to come from the prime minister first.”
In response, Mr Johnson said: “I have to say, Mr Speaker, I’ve never heard such humbug in all my life.”
Tracy Brabin, who was elected as MP for Batley and Spen after Ms Cox’s murder, also urged the prime minister to moderate his language “so that we will all feel secure when we’re going about our jobs”.
Mr Johnson replied that the best way to honour the memory of Jo Cox – who campaigned for Remain – and bring the country together was “to get Brexit done”.
Mrs Cox’s husband, Brendan, later tweeted he felt “sick at Jo’s name being used in this way”.