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Critics accuse Boris Johnson of imitating Donald Trump on media and trade

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Critics accuse Boris Johnson of imitating Donald Trump on media and trade
Copyright  Chris J Ratcliffe/Pool via AP   -   Chris J Ratcliffe
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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was criticised by opposition politicians over reports that some journalists were banned from a press briefing at Downing Street.

SNP MP Ian Blackford accused the UK prime minister of imitating US President Donald Trump, who is known for his often hostile relationship with the press.

“This prime minister has sacked an official, taken an isolationist approach to trade, and banned the press from a briefing. Is he intentionally trying to impersonate Donald Trump?” said Blackford.

Earlier this week, the prime minister’s communications staff reportedly barred some journalists from attending a briefing with David Frost, the government’s lead Brexit negotiator.

Keir Starmer, a candidate for Labour party leadership, wrote to the government stating that the action was “deeply disturbing”.

The opposition party also called out the prime minister in the House of Commons.

Johnson said during the Prime Minister’s Questions session that he was a journalist and loves journalism. He then spoke about Labour's general election strategy.

On trade, Blackford was referring to Johnson's speech on the UK's future trade relationship with Europe during which he said the country would decide on either an Australia or Canada style trade relationship with the EU.

But Australia does not have a free trade agreement with the bloc and is significantly further away, many observers pointed out.

Johnson said his Brexit speech on Monday was "passionate" and "internationalist". He criticised the SNP, stating that they would want to rejoin the European Union.

In this first question session since the UK officially left the European Union, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn pushed Johnson on the UK's track record on climate change, especially leading up to the UN Climate Conference which will be hosted in Glasgow this year.

Johnson called Corbyn's criticisms “beyond satire” and said that the UK was “leading the world” in their climate ambitions.

The UK's recent decision to include Huawei in parts of the construction of a 5G network also emerged, but this time from Conservative MPs who pressed Johnson about the Chinese company's role in building the network.

But Johnson would not rule out Huawei's involvement, telling Conservative MP Damian Green: "What has happened is, I’m afraid, a failure of like-minded countries to produce an alternative to the 5G network, except that provided by high-risk vendors."

Johnson later added that the government would not do anything to endanger national security infrastructure.