AFTER a week of hearing about a Pork Pie Plot and Operation Red Meat, it was time for the silly burger leading the country to explain himself – again.

However, before Boris Johnson could ululate, in a stormy but curiously jocular Prime Minister’s Questions, he’d to thole the spectacle of Tory defector Christian Wakeford, in Union Jack facemask, crossing the floor to sit behind Keir Starmer on the opposition Labour benches. Cue Loud cheering and waving of order papers.

Welcoming him, Sir Keir said: “The Labour Party has changed – and so has the Conservative Party.”

Yes, the former is now both woke and patriotic, like being vegan apart from the bacon butties, while the latter’s massive public spending programme has made it virtually socialist. It’s very confusing.

However, we mustn’t let party politics cloud the issue of the day: the politics of parties. Sir K rehearsed the whole “absurd and unbelievable” timeline of Boris’s narrative: there were no parties; there were parties but he didn’t know about them; he knew about them but didn’t attend them; he attended one but didn’t know it was a party, confusing it with work (easily done); and, having drawn up rules about this sort of thing, no one told him what these rules were.

Sir Keir, a former director of public prosecutions, concluded: “No defence is going to work for him.”

That was after a markedly irritated Mr Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, had threatened to “direct people out of the chamber”, addressing his remarks – as every week – to a noisy Tory Ultras group (they’ll be setting off flares next) over to his right.

Sir Keir observed: “I’m sure the Chief Whip has ordered them to bring their own booze.”

And what of Boris during all this? Well, he looked surprisingly confident, almost unruffled in his ruffled way, with his green tie twisted like a badly knotted noose. At first, he trotted out his usual tropes about vaccine successes and Sue Gray’s inquiry.

Then he addressed the defection: “As for Bury South” – suddenly the place went silent, as sometimes happens strangely in a primary school class or among a flock of starlings – “we will win again at … the next election.”

Will ye, aye?

Mr Starmer laughed at Boris’s “carefully crafted explanation”, as regards staff warning him about parties, adding: “It almost sounded like a lawyer wrote it.”

To more titters, he averred of the PM: “He alone, as he waded through the empty bottles and platters of sandwiches, didn’t realise it was a party.”

That was a tat just waiting for a tit and, accordingly, Boris called on the Labour leader to explain “the picture of him drinking a pint of beer” in an office. The PM added: “He is wasting this House’s time. He is wasting the people’s time.” Yes, and it was nearly wine o’clock.

After that small beer, Sir Keir shot back: “I know it’s not going well, Prime Minister, but look on the bright side – at least the staff at Number 10 know how to pack a suitcase.”

This alluded to a suitcase of booze brought into Downing Street, with the cheeky insinuation that it’d soon be full of prime ministerial pants and socks as the PM vacated the premises.

Talking pants brings us to Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, who said Operation Big Dog had become “a dog’s dinner”, and accused Boris of “laughing at the British public”. Crivvens, at this rate Ian’ll soon be turning up with a Union Jack mask too.

However, the day’s most dramatic intervention came when one of Boris’s own stood up to plunge in the knife. “Et tu, Davis?” Boris might have cried as David of that ilk, a former Brexit Minister, accused the PM of failing to shoulder his responsibilities.

He quoted, or at least paraphrased, words “all together too familiar to him” from Conservative Leo Amery to Neville Chamberlain (these in turn echoing words of Cromwell to the Long Parliament): “You have sat there too long for all the good you have done. In the name of God, go!”

Boris, a scholar of the Churchill-Chamberlain period, riposted cleverly: “I must say to the right honourable gentleman I don’t know what he’s talking about. I don’t know what quotation he’s alluding to.”

Finally, as regards our Mother Scotia, Labour’s Stephen Kinnock asked the PM if he agreed with Leader of the House, Jacob Rees-Mogg, that Scottish Tory chief Douglas Ross was a “lightweight”. Boris body-swerved that, but praised the Scottish Conservatives’ “stout defence” of the Union. And there we end these observations on the latest session of Lightweight Watchers.

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