PMQs: MP shouts ‘bring the lettuce back’
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A backbench MP demanded the Tories “bring the lettuce back” as Rishi Sunak faced Sir Keir Starmer during Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions. The bizarre heckle makes reference to a vegetable which was used to mockingly track the rapid demise of Liz Truss ahead of her resignation from Number Ten. The shout from an unknown MP was picked up by microphones in the House of Commons as the Leader of the opposition quizzed the Prime Minister on the policy concerning the profits of fossil fuel companies.
Sir Keir asked: “Will [The Prime Minister] find a backbone and end his absurd oil and gas giveaway?”
Rishi Sunak retorted: “What the party opposite will never understand is that it is businesses investing that creates jobs in this country. On this side of the House, we understand that – we will support businesses to invest, to create jobs because that is how we create prosperity.
“That is how we support strong public services and that’s what you will get with a Conservative government.”
As the Speaker called upon Sir Keir to continue, his address was interrupted by a cry from the backbenches: “Bring the lettuce back.”
The voice continued: “Where’s the lettuce? A lettuce would be better.”
The heckler drew upon the Daily Star’s comedic coverage of the former prime minister’s short-lived premiership.
As the government came under pressure from severe economic turbulence following Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous mini-budget, it became clear that Liz Truss was struggling to maintain her grip on Downing Street power.
The Daily Star set up a webcam stream featuring a lettuce in a blonde wig in a bid to see if the vegetable could outlast the then prime minister.
In a surreal moment for British politics, the lettuce emerged victorious as Liz Truss announced her resignation just seven days after the Daily Star’s contest began.
As Truss resigned, more than 20,000 people tuned in to the YouTube stream which saw a plastic gold crown placed on the lettuce.
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It is not the first time the famed lettuce has been used to attack Rishi Sunak since he entered office just weeks ago.
During Rishi Sunak’s debut Prime Minister’s Questions, Sir Keir called for a general election to appoint a new leader to Number Ten.
He declared: “The only time [Rishi Sunak] ran in a competitive election, he got trounced by the former prime minister, who herself got beaten by a lettuce.”
At the time, his remarks were met by cheers and hysterical laughter across the opposition benches.
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On Wednesday, Sir Keir said the Prime Minister was: “Too weak to take part in a leadership election after he lost the first one.”
Noting Sunak’s decision to attend the UN climate summit he added: “[The Prime Minister] spent weeks flirting with the climate change deniers in his party, then scuttled off to COP at the last minute.”
Rishi Sunak travelled to Egypt earlier this week, marking a u-turn on earlier Downing Street reports that he would not attend the COP27 summit in favour of focusing on domestic commitments.
Number Ten had previously indicated the Prime Minister would remain in the UK as the Tory Government comes under pressure to outline a robust economic policy in the upcoming autumn budget set for November 17.
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