PMQs: Boris Johnson and Chancellor dubbed ‘Tory Thelma and Louise’

BORIS Johnson and Rishi Sunak have been dubbed the ‘Tory Thelma and Louise’ for “ driving the country off a cliff”.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer made the comparison during Prime Minister’s Questions, when he accused the pair of trying to “drive the country off the cliff and into the abyss of low growth and high taxes.”

Mr Starmer did not focus on the claims of parties in Downing Street, instead concentrating on the government’s record on the economy and the struggles of working people who cannot afford to pay their bills.

He said Mr Johnson was “gaslighting the public” with claims that he was trying to cut taxes for people. 

He said: “The truth is the Conservative Party is the party of high taxes because they’re the party of low growth, they’re the party of high taxes because they’re the party of eye-watering waste.

“We know this Prime Minister has no respect for decency or honesty. I can take it when it’s aimed at me, but I won’t accept it when he gaslights the British public – writing absurd articles about cutting taxes at a time when he is squeezing working people to the pips.

“Isn’t it the case that he and his Chancellor are the Tory Thelma and Louise, hand in hand as they drive the country off the cliff and into the abyss of low growth and high tax?”

Mr Johnson, in an apparent reference to Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner, replied: “I think (Sir Keir) is Dick Dastardly and Muttley – both of them pulling in different directions, we know they have different views.”

Mr Starmer added that “the Prime Minister might want to sharpen how he answers questions under interview – he’s going to need it in the next few weeks.”


The Labour leader said that the Mr Johnson was trying to impose a “stealth tax”  on people, saying they were “always asked to pay more” despite Mr Johnson claiming his party was one of tax cuts.

Mr Starmer gave examples of freezing the threshold for income tax and tuition fees, as well as “local authorities forced to increase council tax”.

He continued: “ You can be as stealthy as you like but you can’t hide reality. We have the highest tax burden for 70 years during the middle of an inflation crisis. So, I ask the Prime Minister again, why do he and the Chancellor keep raising taxes on working people?”

Mr Johnson responded that he was “helping people with the cost of living and cutting taxes for those on Universal Credit.”


He added that he was “helping people with the cost of their fuel with the cold weather payments, the warm homes payments, doing all the things that this country would expect, lifting the living wage, which this party introduced, this Government has increased by a record amount, and above all the most important thing that we are doing is helping people into work.”

The Prime Minister also doubled down on claims he made earlier this week about Keir Starmer failing to prosecute notorious paedophile Jimmy Savile – which has been discredited by numerous fact checking organisations.

READ MORE: Tory, SNP and Labour MPs call for Johnson to retract ‘disgusting Savile slurs’ against Starmer

Mr Johnson has been called to retract the comments form within his own party as well as by opposition members, yet he repeated the claims today and said Mr Starmer was ultimately responsible for all decisions while he was the director of public prosecutions.

Mr Starmer blasted the Prime Minister for “parroting conspiracy theories of violent fascists to score cheap political points.” Adding: “He knows exactly what he’s doing. It’s time to restore some dignity”

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford challenged Mr Johnson over reports in the Telegraph today that he was seen going in to his flat on November 13, 2020, when there was allegedly a gathering which is being probed by the Met.

He asked where Mr Johnson was on that evening, and when he received no direct reply, said: “ We have now reached the ridiculous scenario of a Prime Minister who can’t even tell us where he was.”

The MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber continued: “He lives in a world where he thinks everything is owed to him.

“He never pauses to think what he owes to the public. The Prime Minister is now a dangerous distraction at home and a running joke on the international stage.”

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