London politics latest: Keir Starmer says Tory party ‘crashed the economy’ with 12 weeks of Tory chaos
The Labor leader told the Commons: “The failure of the last 12 years and the chaos of the last 12 weeks are compounded by the decisions he is taking now. He won’t follow Labour’s plan to scrap non-dom status. Instead, we have got an NHS staffing crisis.
“He won’t follow Labor’s plans to make oil and gas giants pay their fair share, instead he hammers working people.”
Rishi Sunak replied: “He talks about leadership, this summer I stood on my principles and told the country what they needed to hear even though it was difficult. When he ran for leader, he told his party what they wanted to hear.
“Even now, he says one thing and he does the other. He says he cares for working people, but he won’t stand up to the unions. He said he’d honor Brexit but he tried to have a second referendum, and now he tries to talk tough about immigration but he promised to defend free movement.”
PMQs came after top judges ruled Scotland needs the approval of Westminster to push ahead with next year’s planned second referendum on independence.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford told the Commons: “This morning the Supreme Court clarified a point of law, that the very point of democracy in this union is now at stake. And democracy will not be denied.
“Because whether Westminster likes it or not, last year the people of Scotland voted for a Scottish Parliament with a majority and the mandate to deliver an independence referendum.”
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What happened this morning?
Ahead of Prime Minister’s Questions this afternoon, top judges handed down their decision on Scotland’s planned second referendum next year.
Scotland will need the approval of Westminster to push ahead with a second referendum on independence, the ruling said.
Meanwhile ministers are preparing for talks with rail union chiefs this week after a series of “debilitating” Christmas train strikes were announced.
Questions about Rishi Sunak’s choice of Cabinet colleagues have not let up as Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab is set to be investigated over allegations of bullying behaviour.
PM delays housebuilding targets – report
Rishi Sunak faces a significant rebellion on Wednesday as Conservative MPs push for an end to mandatory housebuilding targets.
MPs were meant to vote on the flagship Leveling Up Bill on Monday – which included Government plans to build 300.00 homes a year – but the Prime Minister reportedly has pulled the vote.
More than 40 backbenchers have signed an amendment to Bill that would ban councils from taking housebuilding targets into account when deciding on planning applications.
Read more here.
Braverman blames channel crossings for Manston overcrowding
Suella Braverman has said she won’t “point the finger of blame” at any home secretary for the overcrowding at Manston migrant centre, instead blaming people who cross the channel in small boats.
The Home Secretary told the Commons Home Affairs Committee this morning: “I’m not going to point the finger of blame at any one person, it’s not as simple as that.”
Pressed further, she daid: “I tell you who’s at fault, it’s very clear who’s at fault, it’s the people who are breaking our rules, coming here illegally, exploiting vulnerable people and trying to reduce the generosity of the British people – that’s who’s at fault.”
SNP Westminster leader granted urgent question
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has been granted an urgent question in the Commons on the Supreme Court ruling on Scotland’s independence referendum.
It will take place following Prime Minsiter’s Questions at about 12.30pm.
The UK Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the Scottish Parliament did not have the power to legislate for another referendum on independence, without Westminster consent.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford
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Braverman: Rwanda is a ‘very inspiring’ country that is ‘safe and secure’
Rwanda is a “very inspiring” country with a record of supporting asylum seekers, Suella Braverman said as she insisted that the government will manage to send migrants there.
The Home Secretary told MPs that Rwanda – where ministers want to send migrants unlawfully crossing the Channel – was a “safe and secure country” that had been subject to a “rigorous” assessment by her officials.
She said it was also being used by the UN to accommodate migrants under an EU funded scheme and that she had found it an “inspiring country” when she visited in 2010.
Read more here.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman
Rishi Sunak heads to PMQs
The Prime Minister left Downing Street and headed to the House of Commons ahead of Prime Minister’s Questions at 12pm.
Nicola Sturgeon: ‘Independence will be worth it’
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has given her reaction to the UK Supreme Court ruling on Scotland’s planned second independence referendum.
Top judges ruled that the referendum cannot go ahead without Westminster consent.
She told reporters on Wednesday: “There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that independence will be worth it”.
“The very democracy of our nation depends on independence.”
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Prime Minister’s Questions at the House of Commons has begun.
Keir Starmer: ‘Shame on Fifa’
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said the World Cup doesn’t belong to Fifa or the host nation.
He said it’s “totally unaceptable” that gay football fans cannot acknowledge who they love in Qatar. “Shame on Fifa,” he said.
He asked the PM: “Britain faces the lowest growth of any OECD nation over the next two years, why?”
In response, Mr Sunak said Labor should get in touch with union leaders and call off the rail strikes if it was serious about the economy.
PM: ‘I’ve strengthened the economy in 4 weeks’
Rishi Sunak said: “In four weeks I’ve strengthened the economy, we’ve put more money into the NHS and schools and delivered a deal to tackle illegal migration.”
Sir Keir Starmer responded by saying there’s only one party that has crashed the economy, “and they’re sitting there”, as he pointed to Tory MPs in the House of Commons.