This five second clip of Boris Johnson during PMQs is very revealing

Sinead Butler
Thursday 13 January 2022 14:56
Politics

During this week’s PMQs, Boris Johnson appeared far from the bumbling persona we’re all used to seeing and instead in one instance looked “Haunted, caught red-handed, found out.”

MPs held him to account over his attendance at the “bring your own booze” garden gathering at Number 10 in May 2020 during the height of the UK’s first lockdown. Johnson’s apology came after an email sent by Johnson’s principal private secretary Martin Reynolds invited more than 100 employees to the event was leaked to ITV News.

Offering his “heartfelt apologies,” Johnson acknowledged the “rage” amongst the public over this revelation but insisted that he thought the gathering was a “work event.”

“With hindsight, I should have sent everyone back inside, I should have found some other way to thank them, and I should have recognised that – even if it could have been said technically to fall within the guidance – there would be millions and millions of people who simply would not see it that way,” he said.

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“I should have recognised that even if it could be said technically to fall within the guidance, there are millions and millions of people who simply would not see it that way, people who have suffered terribly, people who were forbidden for meeting loved ones at all inside or outside, and to them and to this House I offer my heartfelt apologies.”

Meanwhile, observant viewers couldn’t help but notice the defeated look in Johnson’s eyes as opposition MP’s continued to pile the pressure on - with some even calling for the prime minister to resign.

In response, Johnson could only feebly ask MP’s to wait for the findings in the investigations conducted by Sue Gray into all of the alleged Downing Street parties.

TV critic, Toby Earle spotted the shift in body language and facial expressions from Johnson and perfectly summarised in a tweet: “The look on Johnson’s face. Haunted, caught red-handed, found out. #PMQS.”

BBC’s Political Editor, Laura Kuenssberg also noted how the prime minister “a very different tone” with “no gags, no smirks, body language of colleagues” in order to demonstrate “how uneasy his party his [sic].”

Viewers also shared their thoughts on Johnson’s expression, as one noted how he looked like “he was about to cry,” and added that he has been “well and truly found out.”

While another person wasn’t exactly convinced by the prime minister’s body language and wrote: “There’s no real shame there, it’s all performative.”

It seems miles away from the jovial confidence we saw from Johnson just days ago when he was refusing to comment on whether he attended the BYOB party.

When asked by a reporter if he and wife Carrie attended the party, Johnson replied: “All that, as you know, is the subject of a proper investigation by Sue Gray.”

Pressed once more over his attendance, Johnson awkwardly laughed off the matter and added: “All that is a subject for investigation by Sue Gray.”

Since Johnson’s dismal PMQs, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has called on the prime minister to resign, following the fallout from the BYOB party.

“I don’t want to be in this position, but I am in this position now, where I don’t think he can continue as leader of the Conservatives,” he said.

Looks like Johnson’s gloomy facial expressions and body language might be here to stay.

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