Attorney General Suella Braverman has been mocked in the House of Commons after she declared her leadership ambitions on live television.
The Cabinet minister arrived for Attorney General questions to a loud and sustained shout of “hear, hear” from Conservative colleague Sir Desmond Swayne (New Forest West).
Labour MP Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West) could be heard joking: “She’s got one.”
Shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry later said: “Can I say what an honour it is to be at this despatch box facing the next prime minister as she waits her call from the palace. A true honour.
“Although colleagues will have noticed in her list of leadership priorities last night, the Attorney General had absolutely nothing to say about tackling the epidemic of crime in our country or ending the culture of law-breaking in our Government, both of which have flourished under her watch.”
Ms Braverman replied: “I know (Ms Thornberry) loves to degrade this questions session to petty politics.
“I’m not going to lower myself to her standards, I’m here to talk about victims and what we’re doing to secure justice for vulnerable people.”
Ms Braverman, during an appearance on ITV’s Peston on Wednesday evening, called for Mr Johnson to quit and said “Yes, I will” when asked if she would stand in the Tory leadership contest.
Shadow solicitor general Andy Slaughter later asked about the television appearance during a question about sexual assault, telling the Commons: “The last time we debated this issue in this chamber the Attorney General told me that any allegation of domestic abuse or sexual assault on victims is ‘horrendous, on no account does anyone in this Government condone that behaviour’.
“So why did the Attorney General not call for the Prime Minister’s resignation when she found out he turned a blind eye to allegations of sexual assault from one of his own ministers, but did call for his resignation to launch her bizarre leadership campaign live on TV last night?
“Doesn’t that just sum up how she is debasing the office she holds and puts political ambition before the rule of law?”
Ms Braverman accused Labour of trying to “score cheap political points” instead of taking the opportunity to ask a question.