London politics latest LIVE: Rishi Sunak meets MPs at PMQs as Christmas strike chaos looms

Rishi Sunak is set to address MPs for prime minister’s questions on Wednesday as thousands of workers prepare to wreak havoc on the country’s key services in pre-holiday strikes. Paramedics announced on Tuesday they will go on December 21 straight over pay – the latest major sector to announce a strike. Unions GMB, Unite and Unison have said they will respond to life-threatening incidents – known as Category 1 calls – but Health Secretary Steve Barclay said on Wednesday it was “still a question” whether emergency services will cover all emergency calls during strikes. Meanwhile, rail workers are expected to bring the country’s rail network to a standstill over the festive period by walking from Christmas Eve until the morning of December 27. Two 48-hour strikes will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday next week as part of a long-running dispute over wages, jobs and working conditions, and on December 16th and 17th and on January 3rd and 4th and 6th and 7th. including Christmas Eve, while NHS nurses will walk away from dozens of trusts on December 15th and 20th in their first-ever national action.Read moreSee the latest updates

1670413206Schools Bill dropped as Government prioritizes tackling economic crisis A flagship of education legislation has been dropped after it met opposition in Parliament. The Schools Bill, which had already been stripped of key elements as it was passed by the Lords, “will not make any progress,” Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said on Wednesday morning. She told MPs that parliamentary time was focused on measures related to the economic crisis, but insisted the government was still considering elements of the bill as a priority. The legislation was originally intended to cover issues such as school funding, regulating academies, tackling truancy, ensuring the well-being of homeschooled children, and banning unsuitable teachers. It was due for its third reading in the House of Lords, but the government scraped controversial parts of the law that would have stunned ministers’ power over autonomous academies. 1670411312 Rail strikes before Christmas will affect main maintenance work, Transport Secretary warns Transport Secretary Mark Harper has said the strike by Network Rail workers between Christmas Eve and December 27 will cause “more inconvenience to passengers” because it means that planned maintenance work has to be postponed. He told the Commons Transport Select Committee Tomorrow: “One of the things that Network Rail is looking at now…[is] That £120million worth of essential maintenance, to see the extent to which that’s impacted… that’s the least busy period. If this work is not done over the Christmas period, it means it will have to be done at other times of the year, which will cause further inconvenience to passengers.” Politics Blog. We bring you everything you need to know about the Prime Minister’s Questions, which start at noon. Follow us for updates.

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