Keir Starmer’s jaw clenched when each strike flew wide of the target. HENRY DEEDES is the Labour leader at PMQs

Over 18 months I’ve been studying Sir Keir Starmer closely and am now convinced he is an inexplicable bore.

Please forgive me for being a bit lenient on this. You will have come to this same conclusion many times before. However, I took the time to weigh and consider the evidence. The verdict was irrefutable.

Take Starmer’s performance at PMQs yesterday. It was a boring display of nose-whining finger-wagging. It was like being buttonholed for 15 minutes by an East Coast ticket operator.

Labour’s leader had got himself into a lather about a claim that the Prime Minister hosted a ‘boozy’ leaving party at Downing Street a year ago during the second lockdown.

It was a pretty boring story. It may not have been interesting at all. Sir Keir didn’t see it that way. These were the products. Rule breaking is what is worse for a supporter of petty officials. One suspects this is a man who mocks fellow passengers for not listening to in-flight safety instructions.

Boris claimed that the party was above board. He made a crack about Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner not being invited to her boss’s Christmas party. The eggnog was managed by Sir Keir. Lucky escape for Ange if you ask me.

For over 18 months, I have studied Sir Keir Starmer at close quarters and have reached the opinion he is an unconscionable bore. Pictured: the Labour leader during Prime Minister's Questions on December 1

Over 18 months I’ve been closely watching Sir Keir Starmer and am now convinced he is a boring bore. Pictured is the Labour leader at Prime Minister’s Questions, December 1.

As for Boris, for a man supposedly on his last legs (politically that is) a fortnight ago, he looked fizzy. In dire need of a haircut again, but otherwise he was in the pink. Pictured: Boris Johnson gestures towards Keir Starmer during Prime Minister's Questions on December 1

Boris looked a little fizzy for someone who was supposedly at his last legs politically a fortnight back. He was still in dire need of his haircut, but was otherwise looking good. Pictured: Boris Johnson makes a gesture towards Keir Sternmer at Prime Minister’s Questions, December 1.

Starmer smirked. ‘Nice try,’ he said, turning to his colleagues like a pub raconteur telling a bawdy gag. He maintained that the PM had violated the rules. He was sure he had one!He waved them proudly. They were laminated, good Lord!

Boris flapped a dismissive paw and pondered the relevance of something which happened ‘12 months ago’. Extra emphasis was placed on the ‘12’. Starmer was ‘dribbling on irrelevantly’ he said. Sir Keir tap danced enthusiastically. ‘He’s not denied it!’ yelled the great inquisitor.

This line of questioning was continued by Sir Keir, who then wondered what more troubling him. Is it possible rules violations? Did it have to do with people laughing? His party isn’t big on all that.

The Tory benches were loud again. Every time Starmer mentioned the word ‘rules’, loud groans echoed around the chamber. Sir Keir’s jaw soon began to clench up. His face became slightly redder. His face became slightly redder as he realized that his attack lines were not optimal. Perhaps the Channel crisis. You can’t do anything but this boring nonsense.

Boris looked affable for someone who was supposedly at his last legs politically a fortnight back. Although he looked in desperate need of another haircut, he seemed otherwise healthy. Maybe he had received some sharp backhanders from an aide before he entered the chamber. Perhaps it was the gin, which he was seen sipping outside No 10 that night.

There were also Olympic-sized gasps as Ian Blackford asked Starmer almost the exact same questions. Oh dear. Fleetness of foot is hardly Blackford’s strong point. Ed Davey, the leader of the Lib Dems demanded that farmers get paid more in a shameless effort to win over the country ahead of the North Shropshire By-election. The Lib Dems don’t really appeal to rural folks. Chances are Sir Ed’s never so much as trod in a cowpat.

Right toward the end, we heard a rant from Imran Hussain (Lab, Bradford E) who criticised the PM over the Government’s treatment of minorities. There is a tendency for Labour to have racial outbursts every now and then. It’s low and it would stand a far better chance of success if Rishi Sunak, Sajid Javid, Alok Sharma and Priti Patel weren’t all sitting beside him. Bravo Imran.