LONDON (Labour Buzz) - A Labour MP took Dominic Cummings to task about death threats he has received. Cummings, Boris Johnson's top advisor, replied "Get Brexit done", in comments which will infuriate many MPs.
Karl Turner MP challenged Cummings in a corridor at Portcullis House today [Thursday] about the increasingly toxic nature of the Brexit debate, following yesterday's racous exchanges in the House of Commons which was one of the most heated in modern times.
Turner became agitated at this suggestion, replying "Don't tell me to get Brexit done!", insisting he would vote for a deal when a credible one was available.
As he left, Cummings told him, "I don't know who you are".
In the chamber on Wednesday, tensions mounted when Labour MP Paula Sheriff suggested that Johnson's language, calling the Benn Act the 'surrender bill', was responsible for death threats against MPs. Referencing Jo Cox, the MP murdered by a right wing extremist during the referendum, Sheriff called for more moderation from the prime minister.
Johnson replied that such remarks were "humbug", to the consternation of the Labour benches. The mood became increasingly toxic from there on.
Unpeturbed, Johnson then claimed the best way to honour the memory of Cox would be to get Brexit done. Cox was strongly opposed to Brexit.
On Thursday, a man was arrested for trying to break into the office of Labour MP Jess Phillips, shouting that she was a "fascist".
Johnson has refused to change his language in describing the Benn Act, which forces the prime minister to either agree a Brexit deal by October 31, pass it through the Commons, or write to the EU requesting an extension - something he has said explicitly he will not do. Remain MPs are determined to legally block a 'no deal' Brexit, citing concerns over significant damage to jobs and medical supplies.
Both Johnson and his attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, argue that MPs are enforcing a 'surrender' because the Act allows the EU to dictate the length of any extension, and that they should either allow him to negotiate freely or allow a general election to take place. Johnson no longer commands a majority in the House.
Remain MPs, in turn, believe Johnson simply isn't trustworthy enough to have a general election before Brexit has been officially delayed. The deadlock continues.
(By Michael O'Sullivan)