London politics LIVE: Rishi Sunak clashes with Keir Starmer over government funding for private schools
ishi Sunak was grilled by Keir Starmer on Wednesday over government money in private schools.
The two leaders joined horns at the Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons.
Mr Starmer continued to urge the Prime Minister to end the “scandal” surrounding a private school’s status as a charity.
Sir Keir told the Commons: “He’s talking about his record. It’s simple, he can keep being pushed around by the lobbyists and give away £1.7 billion to private schools every year, or we can put that money to good use. End the Tory scandal.
“He talks about his record. Hundreds of thousands of children leave school without the necessary qualifications. I made my choice, what is his?”
Rishi Sunak replied that the government was improving “school standards for every student in this country”.
He added: “This is about supporting aspirations and this government is proud of that.”
The Prime Minister is under pressure to stave off a rebellion within his own party, including from Liz Truss and Boris Johnson, as MPs support legislative changes that would allow more onshore wind farms.
Supporting onshore wind projects would directly contradict a promise made by Mr. Sunak during his leadership campaign. Labor has announced it will lift the current Tory ban on new onshore wind farms.
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Royal Mail staff, educators are leaving their jobs
The Prime Minister will face questions about increasing industrial action.
Royal Mail staff, university lecturers and sixth form college workers went on strike in one of the largest strikes on Wednesday.
More strikes by railway staff, NHS workers and bus drivers are planned in the coming weeks.
Unison General Secretary Christina McAnea said: “Jeremy Hunt, Rishi Sunak and Steve Barclay need to roll up their sleeves and talk to unions about how better wages for staff can help transform the NHS.”
Royal Mail workers picket line in North London
Call the army, says NHS boss, as ambulance crews go on strike
An NHS boss has called for the army to be called in if ambulances and nurses go on strike ahead of Christmas.
“We will really appreciate their support, but it will not be central to keeping the emergency services running,” Saffron Cordery, interim CEO of NHS Providers, told the BBC.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay has warned that NHS strikes are “in nobody’s interest”.
Read more here.
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Migrants pass 43,000 this year
Figures show more than 43,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel to Britain so far this year.
According to the Defense Ministry, 884 people were spotted in 17 boats on Tuesday. This suggests an average of around 52 per boat.
The most recent crossings bring the provisional total for 2022 to around 43,500.
Coffey is “very disappointed” if pollution targets don’t come out by Christmas
Environment Secretary Therese Coffey said she would be “very disappointed” if delayed nature and pollution targets were not released before Christmas.
She told colleagues in the House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee that “announcing environmental targets” is one of her top priorities.
When asked if they will be released by the end of December, she said: “I really hope so, that’s my intention. I will be very disappointed if they are not.”
She blamed the “change of administration” for the delay.
The Government came under fire in October after Ms Coffey admitted it would miss the deadline to publish the landmark legally binding targets.
Environment Minister Therese Coffey
MPs visit Taiwan amid strained British ties
MEPs from the Foreign Affairs Committee are to visit Taiwan, which China claims as its territory, through Saturday and meet dignitaries amid strained Britain-Beijing relations.
“President Xi (Jinping) has made it clear that (China) will use the necessary forces to take this island and I think there are lessons to be learned from Ukraine,” Tobias Ellwood told Sky News from Taipei.
Asked about China’s possible reaction to British MPs visiting Taiwan, Mr Ellwood said: “China reacted very furiously and wanted to stop any politician from coming here to see what’s going on.”
He hailed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s statement that the “golden era” of Britain-China relations was over, but added: “We must go further and supporting Taiwan must be high on the agenda.”
Read more here.
Matt Hancock: “Millions of people voted for me”
Matt Hancock said he knew he’d be in I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! “Controversial” would be that ultimately “millions of people” would have voted for him.
Speaking on the post-series Coming Out Show, Hancock said: “When I was grilled in the early days, I felt like people would ask me on behalf of the British public.
“I knew going in would be controversial, but I also know millions of people voted for me.”
The Coming Out Show airs Thursdays at 9.15pm on ITV and the ITV Hub.
Pictured: PM leaves Downing St
Rishi Sunak has left Downing Street to attend the Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons.
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What to expect from PMQs
Rishi Sunak is expected to be questioned by Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer in the House of Commons this afternoon on the escalating strikes.
He is also being criticized by the opposition for “dinosaurs” on the Tory benches opposing clean energy amid the onshore wind debate among MPs.
The Prime Minister can also be questioned about the Autumn Declaration and the not-for-profit status of private schools, as Prime Minister’s questions begin at 12 noon.
PMQ’s are running
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is on his feet in the lower house.
He congratulated England on beating Wales in Tuesday night’s World Cup game.
Keir Starmer asks about school funding
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said Winchester College has a rowing club, a rifle club, which charges fees in excess of £45,000.
He asked the PM: “Why did he give them almost £6million in taxpayers’ money in government support?”
Mr Sunak said he recently announced billions more in funding for our schools.
“We help millions of underprivileged children with their lost learning. During Covid he wanted to keep the schools closed.”