Rishi Sunak brands Keir Starmer ‘Sir Flakey’ and warns that ‘policy counts’ at a general election as ‘cocky’ Labour leader taunts him at PMQs over Tory councils meltdown
Rishi Sunak branded Keir Starmer ‘Sir Flakey’ and ‘cocky’ today as the leaders clashed brutally over the local elections.
During a bad-tempered PMQs, Sir Keir taunted Mr Sunak about the Tory meltdown in English councils, swiping that he was ‘ignoring the message’ from voters.
But the premier shot back that ‘policy counts’ at a general election, adding: ‘We know the problem for him is he doesn’t have any.’
Mr Sunak pointed to the Labour leader’s slew of U-turns on issues such as tuition fees, and also mocked growing speculation that he would do a deal with the Lib Dems to get into Downing Street if there is a hung Parliament.
Rishi Sunak (right) branded Keir Starmer (left) ‘Sir Flakey’ today as the leaders clashed brutally over the local elections
Sir Keir opened hostilities in the Commons by claiming Mr Sunak had cost a thousand Tory councillors their jobs
Sir Keir opened hostilities in the Commons by claiming Mr Sunak had cost a thousand Tory councillors their jobs.
‘This time last week the Prime Minister had to correct the record on misleading claims he made about employment numbers,’ Sir Keir said.
‘Can he provide a further update now he’s cost a thousand Tory councillors their jobs?’
Mr Sunak hit back: ‘Maybe I can just offer the honourable gentleman a tiny bit of advice from one of his predecessors… Tony Blair… he said the right honourable gentleman can be as cocky as he likes about the local elections, come a general election, policy counts.
‘And we know… the problem for him is, he doesn’t have any.’
Sir Keir said Mr Sunak did not have a mandate to govern.
‘Last year he lost a Tory beauty contest to (Liz Truss) who then lost to a lettuce. Last week, when he finally came into contact with voters, he lost everywhere,’ the Labour leader said.
‘No matter who the electorate is, the Prime Minister keeps entering a two-horse race and somehow finishing third. Given his track record, who does he think he’s actually got a mandate from?’
Mr Sunak mocked growing speculation that Sir Keir would do a deal with the Lib Dems to get into Downing Street if there is a hung Parliament. Pictured, vote share projections from the local elections last week
But Mr Sunak said: ‘It’s a bit rich to hear about mandates from the person who has broken every single promise he was elected on.
‘I can go through the list: nationalisations, NHS outsourcing, universal credit, and now tuition fees. He was for them before he was against them. He’s not just Sir Softy, he’s Sir Flakey too.’
Mr Sunak also took aim at Lib Dem leader Ed Davey when he asked a question.
Referring to speculation about a Lab-Lib deal, the PM said there it was not surprising Sir Ed was ‘attracted to’ Sir Keir given they had ‘political opportunism and a broken promise on tuition fees’ in common.
‘It must be like looking in the mirror,’ he joked.
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