PMQs LIVE: Boris Johnson to take aim at Starmer’s shock reshuffle after Rayner blindsided (Image: GETTY)
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Sir Keir executed an extensive reshuffle on Monday amid concerns he was not reaching voters and ministers were not making an impact in their roles. The reshuffle blindsided Angela Rayner, Labour's deputy leader, who was told about it an hour before she was due to deliver a speech on Tory sleaze. Ms Rayner was reportedly furious that the reshuffle had overshadowed her address to the Institute for Government. The Prime Minister is likely to poke fun at these divisions in the Commons today.
THIS LIVE BLOG IS NOW CLOSED.
‘Totally unacceptable’ that smuggling gangs promote illicit services on Facebook
Damian Collins, the Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe, said it is “totally unacceptable” that companies like Facebook allow people smugglers to offer their services on their platforms.
He said: “More needs to be done to tackle the people trafficking gangs who exploit migrants across Europe, promising them to get to this country.
“But does the Prime Minister agree with me that it is totally unacceptable that companies like Facebook allow those smugglers to offer their services on their platforms? Not only routes into the country but also selling them forged British papers in order to aid their access.
“Does he agree with me that when we pass the Online Safety Bill we will have the power to do more to make companies like Facebook take down content that promotes illegal activity?”
The Prime Minister agreed, adding: “Too many of these gangs are using social media and that’s why the Online Harms Bill is so important, and will indeed be of assistance to us in taking down that kind of material.”
Gibraltar is ‘British, British, British’ says PM
Boris Johnson has confirmed that Gibraltar is “British, British, British” after Conservative MP David Jones pressed him on whether they would be able to exclude the European Court of Justice from renegotiations.
The MP for Clwyd West said: “Last week, the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, the honourable Fabian Picardo, appeared before the European Scrutiny Committee and gave evidence about the continuing negotiations between Gibraltar and the European Union on their future relationship.
“During the course of his evidence, the Chief Minister made clear that his ambition was that Gibraltar’s future should be, as he put it, British, British, British.
“Can my right honourable friend say what the Government is doing to support the Chief Minister to achieve that aim, and in particular to exclude any role for the European Court of Justice?”
Boris Johnson replied: “Frankly, I can’t really improve on the verdict of my friend Fabian Picardo, the Chief Minister of Gibraltar. Gibraltar is British, British British and will remain so, and, by the way, I see no future role for the European Court of Justice.”
Labour calls for UK-Australia deal to be rewritten
Labour has called for the UK-Australia trade deal to be rewritten as Australia’s 2030 target is currently consistent with four degrees of global warming.
Ed Miliband, shadow climate change and net zero secretary, said: “He is right that we have to spend the next 12 months maximising the pressure on the big emitters and we can make a difference with the UK-Australia trade deal, because Australia’s 2030 target is consistent with four degrees of warming.
“So, will he tell the Trade Secretary to rewrite that trade deal, not to water down commitments, which is the current plan, but to make it conditional on Australia as well as the UK, having 2030 targets consistent with 1.5 degrees?”
Cop26 President Alok Sharma said the trade deal will include a chapter on climate change which “reaffirms both parties’ commitments to upholding our obligations under the Paris Agreement, including limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees”.
Labour MP asks for Hillsborough disaster to be added to curriculum
Ian Byrne, Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby, has asked for the Hillsborough disaster to be added to the national curriculum.
32 years have passed since the disaster which took the lives of 97 people.
The prime minister responded: “I thank the honourable gentlemen for the powerful point that he has just made because even though 32 years have passed since that devastating tragedy, I know that the wounds remain very raw in Liverpool.
“And what I can say to him is the government is committed, as he knows, to continue the engagement with the families and making sure that the lessons from that tragedy continue to be properly learned, and that the victims of Hillsborough disaster are never forgotten.
“But I’m also happy to make sure that he meets the relevant minister to take forward an agenda that I think is shared by people up and down this country.”
Borders Bill will give ‘Force the power to turn people back’ says PM
Mr Johnson said the Borders Bill is coming back to the House, which "gives Border Force the power to turn people back".
Mr Johnson said it "would be a great thing" if Labour "backed our Borders Bill".
Labour MP slams government’s ‘horrific track record’ with treatment of minorities
Labour’s Imran Hussain has grilled Boris Johnson on the Nationality and Borders Bill, which he claims could see individuals stripped of their British citizenship.
He said: “My grandfather along with thousands of others came to this country 70 years ago working seven days a week in squalid conditions to help rebuild this country.
“Yet now the Home Secretary’s Nationality and Borders Bill means she can revoke our British citizenship and deport us for even the most minor wrongdoings.
“Given the Government and the Home Office’s horrific track record with the treatment of minorities, the hostile environment and the Windrush scandals, let me ask the Prime Minister the burning question that is now on the lips of everyone from a BAME background right across the country: when is he coming for me?”
The Prime Minister said Mr Hussain should “look at the Conservative frontbench today” and “withdraw what he just said”.
He added: “He should withdraw it, what he said is absolutely shameful and, as he knows full well, the Borders Bill does nothing of the kind.”
PM vows to review human rights system
The prime minister has vowed to “review the human rights system” after Tory MP Andrew Rosindell told the Commons it was preventing the government from dealing with illegal channel crossings.
Boris Johnson said that in the meantime, the Nationality and Borders Bill will return to the Commons next week “and it gives us the power to make the distinction at last between illegal and legal migrants to this country, it gives … Border Force the power to turn people back at sea, and it gives us the power to screen people and send them for screening overseas rather than in this country”.
Tory MP demands government scraps European Convention on Human Rights
Andrew Rosindell, Tory MP for Romford, said tackling the problem of migrant crossings in the Channel will be easier if the UK breaks free "from the constraints of the European Convention on Human Rights".
Mr Rosindell told the House: "We will not be able to stop the endless waves of illegal migrants crossing the English Channel.
"Until we break free from the constraints of the European Convention on Human Rights which impedes our ability to tackle this tragic situation and protect even the most violent criminals from being deported.
"Will the Prime Minister agree with me that it is time to take back and fulfill our manifesto commitment in 2015 to get rid of Labour's human rights act and bring a British bill of rights?"
‘Vote out dozey Labour councillors,’ says PM
The prime minister has suggested constituencies vote out “dozey Labour councillors”.
His comment comes after a Conservative MP complained that his constituency’s council had missed the deadline to apply to benefit from the levelling up fund.
Ed Davey demands more support for farmers ‘before it is too late’
Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey has demanded the government stops cutting essential payments to farmers until the new scheme is fully in place.
Mr Davey said: “Farmers across our country are crucial to our nation’s prosperity, shown once again through the pandemic, but many are now on the brink.
“Farmers across the country are about to see that payments cut by at least 5 percent.
“Starting this very month, the prime minister promised a new support system, rewarding more sustainable farming.
“In the meantime, he seems prepared to see many British farms go bankrupt.
“There’s an easy solution, Mr. Speaker, stop cutting the current systems essential payments until the new scheme is fully rolled out.
“Will the Prime Minister do that and help our struggling farmers before it’s too late?”
‘We were the first country to respond!’ Johnson defends Omicron reaction
The prime minister has defended the UK’s response to the emergence of the Omicron variant first detected in South Africa.
He said Ian Blackford was “simply wrong” about the steps the Government has taken and insisted the restrictions are “balanced and proportionate measures designed to protect the British people from the Omicron variant”.
Mr Johnson added: “This country was actually the first to respond. And for the 10 countries that are most likely to seed Omicron in this country, we’ve put them on the red list.”
Blackford accuses Johnson of ‘imperilling’ public health
The Prime Minister is ignoring the advice of the nations of the UK and Sage, and is continuing to “imperil” public health, according to SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford.
He asked the Prime Minister to “finally convene a four-nation Cobra meeting to tighten travel restrictions or will he continue to ignore the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and his own scientific advisers in Sage advisers, and imperil the health of the public of these islands?”
The Prime Minister said: “Of course we want to work closely with him and there will be abundant opportunities today and the weeks ahead to concert our activity”.
Blackford doubles down on Christmas party allegations
Blackford repeated allegations of a No10 Christmas party.
"When the person in charge so blatantly breaks the rules it needs to be talked about.
"Last Christmas, the Prime Minister hosted a packed party in Downing Street – an event that broke lockdown rules.
"Rules that everyone else was expected to follow.
"Blackford claims to have spoken to The Mirror about their report.
Mr Blackford added:"How are people expected to trust the Prime Minister when he thinks it's one rule for him, and one rule for everybody else?"
Starmer ‘dribbles on irrelevantly,’ says Johnson
Boris Johnson said Sir Keir “dribbles on irrelevantly about wallpaper and parties, playing politics”.
“They’re getting on with factional infighting, we are delivering for the people of this country,” he added.
Sir Keir lists off ‘broken promises’ in PMQs
Sir Keir Starmer said: “It’s the same old story from this Prime Minister, week in, week out defending the indefensible and broken promises.
“His mates were found to be corrupt, he tried to get them off the hook. Downing Street throws parties during lockdown, he says ‘not a problem’.
“He promised there’d be no tax rises, then he put up tax. He promised a rail revolution in the north, then he cancelled the trains. He promised no-one would have to sell their home for care, then along came his working-class dementia tax.
“He promised 40 new hospitals and even if you count the paint jobs, his own watchdog says he can’t deliver it.
“Isn’t this the truth, Mr Speaker, that any promises from this Prime Minister aren’t worth the manifesto paper they’re written on?”
Starmer takes aim at Johnson over flat refurbishment scandal
Sir Keir Starmer has taken aim at the prime minister over the flat refurbishment scandal last year.
The leader of the opposition jibed: “No wonder so many Tory donors paid so much for that wallpaper last year, he probably told them he was building a new flat.”
The prime minister later repaid the money from his private funds.
‘They are not new hospitals!’ Starmer attacks Johnson on hospital promise
Sir Keir Starmer said the Prime Minister was denying his hospital building programme had been flagged as unachievable but lacked the confidence to publish the report showing this, adding: “The more we look at this promise, the murkier it gets.
“I’ve got a document here sent by the Department of Health to the NHS. It’s called the ‘new hospital programme communications playbook’ – I kid you not. It offers advice to make it easier to talk about the programme.
“This guide instructs everybody to describe refurbishments and alterations on existing hospitals as new hospitals. We can all agree that refurbishments are a very good thing, but they’re not new hospitals.
“How many of the 40 are fix-up jobs on existing hospitals and how many are actually the new hospitals he promised?”
Boris Johnson replied: “You obviously don’t always go around building on greenfield sites, you rebuild hospitals and that’s what we’ve said for the last two-and-a-half years; it’s the biggest programme of hospital building this country ever undertaken.”
Starmer demands Johnson publish the hospital progress report
The Labour leader accused the Prime Minister of breaking “yet another promise” with the 40 hospitals target.
Keir Starmer said: “This is strange because the Government hasn’t been denying the reports about the red flag and they haven’t done since, but now the Prime Minister does.
“There was obviously some confusion on these benches over whether the Cabinet Office and the Treasury think he is on course to break yet another promise, this time on new building of hospitals.”
He added: “If he is so confident in his answer, why doesn’t he publish the progress report in full and let us all see it?”
Boris Johnson replied: “What we are doing is not only building 40 new hospitals but we are also – it is incredible that we have been able to keep going throughout the pandemic – we are also making record investments in our NHS.
“We have more doctors, more nurses, working in our NHS than at any time in the history of that magnificent organisation.”
Starmer accuses Johnson of pursuing ‘unachievable’ project
Sir Keir Starmer has grilled the prime minister on his promise that 40 new hospitals were being built.
The leader of the opposition pointed out that the document detailing the project revealed that some of the 40 new hospitals would not be built from scratch, instead work would be done on existing hospitals.
The Labour leader said: “At the last election the Prime Minister promised to build 40 new hospitals, page 10 in his manifesto.
“With waiting lists so high, Prime Minister, it is a very important commitment.
“Now, the Cabinet Office and the Treasury have checked on the progress and it’s reported that they have reached a damning conclusion.
“They have concluded that the project needs a red flag because it is unachievable. Prime Minister, is that true?”
Boris Johnson replied: “No. He plays politics and asks frivolous questions, we are getting on with the people’s priorities.”
He added: “We are helping to build another 40 new hospitals with an injection of £36billion of investments which that party voted against.”
‘Not a relevant consideration!’ Boris bites back as Keir attacks Christmas party
Boris Johnson has responded to Sir Keir Starmer’s allegation that he broke coronavirus guidance by throwing a Christmas party last year by insisting the events of last year are not as important as the current rules.
Mr Johnson replied: “I’ve said what I’ve said about Number 10 and the events of 12 months ago, but since he asks about what we’re asking the country to do this year which I think is, frankly, a more relevant consideration.
“The important thing to do is not only to follow the guidance which we have set out, but also when it comes to dealing with the Omicron variant to make sure that, as we have said, that you wear a mask on public transport and in shops, and that you self isolate if you come into contact with somebody who has Omicron, and, above all, what we’re doing is strengthening our measures at the borders, but particularly … get your booster.
“I’m not going to ask him since I’m forbidden to ask questions, but I hope very much that he’s had it.”
‘He has not denied it!’ Starmer doubles down on Tory Christmas party
Sir Keir has doubled down on the suggestion that Boris Johnson broke coronavirus guidance last year.
Sir Keir said: “He says he says no rules were broken. Both of those things can’t be true Prime Minister is taking the British public for fools. One rule for them, another role for everybody else.”
‘You must not have a work Christmas lunch or party’ Starmer quotes rules
Sir Keir Starmer has quoted the rules in place last year which stated nobody can “have a work Christmas lunch or party”.
On socialising in Number 10 during last year’s lockdown, Sir Keir said: “Nice try but that won’t work. The defence seems to be no rules were broken.
“Well, I’ve got the rules that were in place at the time, Prime Minister, of this party, they’re very clear.
“You must not have a work Christmas lunch or party. Does the Prime Minister really expect the country to believe that while people were banned from seeing their loved ones at Christmas last year, it was fine for him and his friends to throw a boozy party in Downing Street?”
Boris Johnson pokes fun at Sir Keir and Angela Rayner
The prime minister has poked fun at the leader of the opposition by saying he has not invited her to his Chrismas party this year.
Responding to a suggestion that he broke coronavirus guidance last year, Boris Johnson jeered: “What I can tell (him) is that all guidance was followed completely during Number 10 and can I recommend to him that he does the same with his own Christmas party, which is advertised for December 15th, to which unaccountably he’s failed to invite the deputy leader.”
Keir Starmer asks whether Boris Johnson broke lockdown rules last year
Sir Keir Starmer has asked the prime minister whether he broke lockdown rules last year.
He asked: “As millions of people were locked down last year, was a Christmas party thrown in Downing Street for dozens of people on December 18th?”
Meet Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet: Shadow Attorney General – Emily Thornberry
Emily Thornberry has moved from shadow trade secretary to shadow attorney general.
Ms Thornberry made headlines for dramatic point-scoring against the Conservative government in her previous role but may struggle with this lower profile position.
Shadow Attorney General – Emily Thornberry (Image: GETTY)
Meet Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet:Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade-Nick Thomas-Symonds
Nick Thomas-Symonds has moved from shadow home secretary to shadow international trade secretary.
Mr Thomas-Symonds may find the move difficult as he does not have experience with international trade.
Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade-Nick Thomas-Symonds (Image: GETTY)
Meet Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet: Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions – Jonathan Ashworth
Jonathan Ashworth has shuffled from shadow health secretary to shadow work and pensions secretary.
Although this is a less high-profile position, Labour will need a strong welfare secretary heading into the next election.
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions – Jonathan Ashworth (Image: GETTY)
Meet Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet: Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport – Lucy Powell
Lucy Powell has ascended to the position of shadow secretary for culture.
Ms Powell is well regarded within the Labour party but may struggle to take on the fiercely determined Nadine Dorries.
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport – Lucy Powell (Image: GETTY)
Meet Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet: Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up and Housing – Lisa Nandy
Lisa Nandy has technically been demoted after moving from shadow foreign secretary to shadow secretary for levelling up, housing, communities and local government.
However, this new position fits well with her strengths as a representative of a “red wall” northern town and will make a tough opposition against Michael Gove.
Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up and Housing – Lisa Nandy (Image: GETTY)
Meet Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet: Shadow Secretary of State for Education – Bridget Phillipson
Ascending to her biggest role so far, Bridget Phillipson will be taking over the job of shadow secretary of state for education.
Ms Phillipson has proven popular within the party but has a tough brief taking on the Conservatives to get education back on track after millions of children fell behind during the pandemic.
Shadow Secretary of State for Education – Bridget Phillipson (Image: GETTY)
Meet Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet: Shadow Secretary of State for Business – Jonathan Reynolds
Jonathan Reynolds has moved from shadow work and pensions secretary to shadow business secretary in the latest shake-up of Sir Keir’s cabinet.
In his previous role, Mr Reynolds was disappointed by the refusal of Sir Keir to lay out a comprehensive policy on universal credit.
It is unclear whether he will have an easier ride of it in his new role.
Shadow Secretary of State for Business – Jonathan Reynolds (Image: GETTY)
Meet Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet:Shadow Secretary of State of Climate Change and Net Zero -Ed Miliband
Former Labour leader Ed Miliband has been assigned shadow secretary of state of climate change and net-zero.
Mr Miliband is well versed in climate change and net-zero which will likely make him effective opposition with the capacity to pick holes in the government’s plans.
Shadow Secretary of State of Climate Change and Net Zero -Ed Miliband (Image: GETTY)
Meet Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet: Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs – David Lammy
David Lammy is ascending to the position of shadow secretary of state for foreign, commonwealth and development affairs.
Mr Lammy has been a Labour MP since 2000 but his lack of experience in foreign affairs may make his job of challenging Liz Truss much harder.
Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs – David Lammy (Image: GETTY)
Meet Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet: Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care – Wes Streeting
Ascending to his biggest job to date, Wes Streeting has taken on the role of shadow secretary of state for health and social care.
The Ilford North MP will take on one of the most important portfolios for Britain as the country works towards reforming social care and putting the pandemic in the past.
Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care – Wes Streeting (Image: GETTY)
Meet Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet: Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department – Yvette Cooper
Yvette Cooper has been returned to the front benches after spending six years outside the cabinet.
Ms Cooper has hit headlines over the years for fiercely challenging successive home secretaries including Theresa May, Amber Rudd and Priti Patel.
Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department – Yvette Cooper (Image: GETTY)
Meet Sir Keir’s shadow cabinet: Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer – Rachel Reeves
Rachel Reeves is one of the few senior figures to keep her previous job as shadow chancellor of the exchequer after Sir Keir moved more than half his cabinet.
Ms Reeves has made a good name for herself in the business world thanks to her experience as an economist and her commitment to fiscal discipline.
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer – Rachel Reeves (Image: GETTY)
Sir Keir Starmer shakes up the shadow cabinet
The leader of the opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, has welcomed his new shadow cabinet and given a “heartfelt thank you” to those who have left.
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