Boris Johnson has been accused of using dangerous, inflammatory language during Wednesday’s belligerent clashes in parliament, and for aggravating the UK’s bitter divisions over Brexit.

The House of Commons was in session for the first time since the country’s highest court ruling that the government’s earlier suspension of parliament was unlawful. Opening proceedings on Thursday, Speaker John Bercow described the exchanges as “toxic”.

Johnson caused outrage with a dismissive response to an appeal to tone down his language and recall the fate of the murdered MP Jo Cox. The best way to honour her memory and bring the country together, he said, was to “get Brexit done”.

And he vilified opponents of his Brexit strategy, rejecting appeals to change tack to heal divisions in the country. The best way to achieve that, he repeated, was to deliver the result of the EU referendum.

Some of the premier’s supporters, however, have defended his performance – accusing opposition politicians of being abusive too.

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