PMQs: Boris Johnson suffers meltdown over Ukrainian refugees

Meltdown: Boris Johnson lost his thread, his reason, and possibly his mind trying to defend his government’s execrable record on admitting Ukrainian refugees. The reason is clear: he’s trying to obstruct them as much as possible, but he can’t be seen to be doing so.

Boris Johnson’s appalling record of turning away hundreds of refugees from the UK – because they didn’t have the right paperwork – led to him suffering an apparent meltdown during Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament.

We all know the situation, and I can illustrate it with a few tweets:

So the UK demands a mountain of paperwork – somebody was asked for a utility bill; who thinks to bring one of those along when they’re running for their life? – and turns people away in any case.

Reading from a file (!) Johnson tried to say this wasn’t true – but his claim about visa centres being open across eastern Europe rang false after the BBC had revealed a “pop-up” centre for Calais – discussed in Parliament yesterday (March 8) had failed to appear today.

His speech fell into hesitation and incoherence partway through. He managed to pull himself together enough to deliver a rehearsed line about the importance of checks – but was almost immediately contradicted by another questioner:

“When will refugees from the Ukraine be welcome in the United Kingdom?”

I think we all know the answer to that, under Johnson’s government:

When they no longer want to come here.

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