Boris Johnson speaks to the public LIVE on Facebook in his first ‘People’s PMQs’ event and starts with a dig at ‘collaborator’ Remainer MPs working with the EU to block Brexit
- The Prime Minister appeared live from Downing Street on the social media site
- He was watched by more than 7,000 people during the broadcast from No 10
- He said it allowed him to take questions ‘unpasteurised and unmediated’
Boris Johnson opened himself up to questions from the nation as he held his first ‘People’s PMQs’ on Facebook today.
The Prime Minister appeared live from Downing Street on the social media site in a session designed to semi-replicate the Prime Minister’s Questions session usually held on Wednesdays in the House of Commons.
Mr Johnson addressed questions on Brexit, mental health, knife crime and the Union during the 12-minute session, watched by more than 7,000 people at the peak of the broadcast.
He said the platform allowed him to take questions ‘unpasteurised and unmediated from you, via this machine’.
His first question was predictably about Brexit and he hit out at ‘collaboration between people who thing they can block Brexit in Parliament, and our European friends’ to prevent the UK’s departure.
He was asked by ‘Luther in Cheshire’: I’d like to know how you intend to leave the EU on October 31 with no movement from the EU on their terms and still so much opposition in Parliament?’
The Prime Minister replied: ‘Luther you have asked the crucial question and there is a terrible kind of collaboration going on between people who think they can block Brexit in Parliament and our European friends.
‘Our European friends are not moving in their opposition to, their willingness to compromise.
‘They are not compromising at all on the Withdrawal Agreement, even though it has been thrown out three times, they’re still sticking with every letter, every comma of the Withdrawal Agreement including the backstop, because they still think that Brexit can be blocked in Parliament.
‘The awful thing is the longer that goes on the more likely it is of course that we well be forced to leave with a No Deal Brexit.’
The Prime Minister appeared live from Downing Street on the social media site in a session designed to semi-replicate the Prime Minister’s Questions session usually held on Wednesdays in the House of Commons
The Facebook Live event was billed as ‘The People’s PMQs’ by No 10 and marks a new direction in political interaction
The broadcast marks a change in interaction between the occupant of No 10 and the public, with nothing of its kind attempted live by Theresa May.
He answered questions asked by viewers and placed in the comments section next to his broadcast.
The Commons is currently in its summer recess and the real PMQs is not due to return until the first week of September, when he will take on Jeremy Corbyn from the Dispatch Box for the first time.
Answering a question about another possible general election, Mr Johnson said he believes the British public have ‘had a lot’ of elections and electoral events in recent years.
He added: ‘I think what they want us to do is get on and deliver Brexit on October 31. I never tire of telling you that’s what we’re going to do.’
The broadcast marks a change in interaction between the occupant of No 10 and the public, with nothing of its kind attempted live by Theresa May
It is not Mr Johnson’s first live appearance on Facebook Live since entering No 10.
Last week he announced a new immigration policy to make it easier for scientist’s to work in the UK via the broadcast platform.
Surrounded by prime-ministerial props (and a model of a London bus), he detailed his progress on issues such as crime, the NHS and Brexit.
In his video, Mr Johnson listed the recruitment of more police, more cash for hospitals and clean energy proposals
He announced his pledge on immigration to change the rules so that Britain could recruit the top brains in the world. And he said this was being done while preparations to leave the EU ‘no ifs or buts’ by October 31 were continuing.
Both the main political parties are ramping up the pressure in what is likely to be a fearsome few months of campaigning on social media, with both parties vying to get the upper hand.