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'Fighting for survival': European papers maul Johnson after defeat

European media and politicians savaged Boris Johnson after his Commons defeat to opponents of a no-deal Brexit, saying the prime minister's tactics had backfired disastrously, his bluster was no longer working, and - after barely six weeks in office - he was already fighting for survival.

The former Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, denounced Johnson as a populist and compared him to Matteo Salvini, the bombastic far-right leader whose bid last month to become prime minister last month backfired spectacularly, instead pushing his anti-immigrant League party out of power.

"The UK and Italy have shown in the past few hours that our institutions are a serious thing, stronger than both Boris Johnson and Salvini," Renzi, whose Socialist party has now returned to government in Rome, tweeted in English.

Libération turned to the history books, observing that the last British prime minister to have lost the first vote he had faced in parliament was the Earl of Rosebery, in 1894. "And he did not leave a very lasting impression," the paper noted, ominously. "He survived barely a year in Downing Street."

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