LONDON (Bywire News) - The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been ridiculed after referring to critics of the government's Foreign Aid cuts - including numerous Tory MPs such as the former PM Theresa May - as 'lefty propagandists'.
Responding to a question from the SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford, Johnson said that people should not listen to the 'lefty propaganda' from critics of his proposed cuts to the international development budget.
Blackford initially asked:
"Later this week, the Prime Minister will walk into the G7 summit as the only leader cutting development aid to the world's poorest. [...]This is a government on the run from their own moral and legal responsibilities, and on the run from their own backbenchers.
"But the Prime Minister cannot hide from this issue any long, and he cannot run from democracy in this house. Will he stand up today and commit to a straight vote in this House on his inhumane cuts, as demanded by the Speaker?
"It is a very simple question - yes or no?"
However, Johnson failed to give a straight answer, before going on to state that people "shouldn't believe the lefty propaganda" of critics.
Johnson's comment elicited laughter from the Labour leader Keir Starmer, as well as a number of MPs from the Tory benches.
A flabbergasted Blackford fired back, saying:
"I have to say, I don't think I've ever heard the previous Prime Minister, the Right Honourable member for Maidenhead, called a leftist propagandist!"
Blackford's retort also appeared to amuse Ms May, with the camera panning to her in fits of laughter.
You can watch the exchange below:
Boris Johnson - You shouldn't believe the lefty propaganda about foreign aid...— Haggis_UK 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) June 9, 2021
Ian Blackford - I don't think I've heard the previous Prime Minister, Theresa May, being called a leftist propagandist... 😊#PMQs pic.twitter.com/Uwrh5zyQCn
And the ridicule didn't end there - with Labour's Deputy Leader, Angela Rayner, pointing out the fact that Johnson's words also meant that the 2019 Tory manifesto - which contained a pledge to maintain the current level of Foreign Aid - could also now be construed as lefty propaganda:
Boris Johnson's government have consistently refused to allow MPs a free vote on their proposed cuts to Foreign Aid - leading to widespread criticism, including from around 30 Tory MPs such as the former PM Theresa May, former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and former Brexit Secretary David Davis.
(Writing by Tom D. Rogers, editing by Jess Miller.)