Debates between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer during the 2019 Parliament

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European Union (Future Relationship) Bill
Commons Chamber

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Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 22nd May 2024

(5 days ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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We now come to the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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I will begin by saying a few words to the hon. Member for South Thanet (Craig Mackinlay). First, thank you for meeting me privately this morning with your wife and daughter, so I could personally convey my best wishes to all of you. Secondly, on some occasions—there are not many—this House genuinely comes together as one, and we do so today to pay tribute to your courage and determination in not only coming through an awful ordeal, but being here with us today in this Chamber. Thirdly, I want to acknowledge your deep sense of service. I think politics is about service, and resuming your duties as an MP and being here today is an example to all of us of your deep sense of service, and we thank you for it.

I also welcome Figen Murray, who is up in the Gallery, who lost her son Martyn seven years ago today in the Manchester Arena attack. We remember everybody who was lost in that awful attack. She is campaigning for Martyn’s law, which we must make a reality as soon as possible.

The infected blood scandal reflects a profound failure across almost every part of the British state. In our apologies on Monday and on the question of compensation yesterday, this House was united; however, we have too many times heard similar sentiments from that Dispatch Box and this one. There are many hard yards to go. Does the Prime Minister agree that we will make real progress only if we finally tackle the lack of openness, transparency and candour that Sir Brian Langstaff identified as having prolonged the victims’ suffering for decades?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 15th May 2024

(1 week, 5 days ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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We now come to the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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On Monday, the Prime Minister treated us to his seventh relaunch in 18 months. He vowed to take on the dangers that threaten the country, so it was good to see the Minister for common sense immediately take up that mantle by announcing a vital crackdown on the gravest of threats—colourful lanyards. Meanwhile, in the real world, after 14 years of Tory Government, the prison system is in chaos. Does the Prime Minister think that his decision to let prisoners out 70 days early makes our country more secure?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 1st May 2024

(3 weeks, 5 days ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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I join the Prime Minister in his words about yesterday’s awful events in Hainault. I am sure that the whole House will want to commend the first responders and send our deepest condolences to the family of the 14-year-old boy who was murdered. I join the Prime Minister in his remarks about the attack in the school in Sheffield as well.

I know that everyone in the House will be delighted to see His Majesty the King returning to his public duties and looking so well. We all wish him and the Princess of Wales the best in their continued recovery.

I welcome my hon. Friend the Member for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich (Dr Poulter) to his place on the Labour Benches. After nearly two decades as a Tory politician and an NHS doctor, he has concluded that if you care about the future of our country and our NHS, it is time for change; it is time for this changed Labour party. As of today, he is our newest Labour MP, but I am sure he will not mind my saying that I hope he loses that title on Friday. When a lifelong Tory and doctor says that “the only cure” for the NHS is a Labour Government, is it not time that the Prime Minister admits that he has utterly failed?

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Whoever is banging the furniture will have to pay for it if they damage it. Can we have less of that? We are not in the sixth form now.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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That was a long, rambling non-answer to the question, which was: has the Prime Minister found the money to fund his £46 billion promise to abolish national insurance? Whenever he is asked about the date of the election, or about people’s pensions, he acts as if answering straightforward questions is somehow beneath him, but pensioners and those who are planning their retirement deserve better than his contempt for their questions. If £46 billion were cut from its funding, the value of the state pension would almost halve, so I do not apologise for asking him again—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Mr Gullis, you have the next question, which you are not going to reach at this rate, and you have the ten-minute rule Bill. I would be quiet for a while if I were you.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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I do not apologise for asking on pensioners’ behalf again whether the Prime Minister will finally rule out cutting their state pension to fulfil the enormous black hole in his spending plans.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 17th April 2024

(1 month, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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We now come to the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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I, too, welcome the postmasters in the Gallery, in their quest for justice.

This week we marked 35 years since the disaster at Hillsborough, and the enduring courage and determination of the families must be marked by the passing of a Hillsborough law.

We also lost Lord Richard Rosser, a lifelong member of the Labour party. He will be greatly missed, and our thoughts are with his wife Sheena and his family and friends.

I am privileged to be the proud owner of a copy of the former Prime Minister’s new book. It is a rare unsigned copy; it is the only unsigned copy. It is quite the read. She claims that the Tory party’s disastrous kamikaze Budget, which triggered chaos for millions, was the “happiest moment” of her premiership. Has the Prime Minister met anyone with a mortgage who agrees?

Rishi Sunak Portrait The Prime Minister
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All I would say is that the right hon. and learned Gentleman ought to spend a bit less time reading that book, and a bit more time reading the Deputy Leader’s tax advice. [Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. I want to get through Prime Minister’s questions.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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We have a billionaire Prime Minister, and a billionaire—[Interruption.] Both of whose families have used schemes to avoid millions of pounds of tax, smearing a working-class woman. [Interruption.] The former Prime Minister has a long list of people to blame for the economic misery. Conservative Members do not want to hear it, but they made her Prime Minister, and millions of people are paying the price. She blames the Governor of the Bank of England, the Treasury, the Office for Budget Responsibility. The American President is blamed at one point. We even learn that the poor old lettuce was part of the “deep state”. Does the Prime Minister agree that it is actually much simpler than that? It was the Tories’ unfunded tax cuts—tens of billions of pounds of unfunded tax cuts—that crashed the economy and left millions paying more for their mortgages, wasn’t it?

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Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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This is genuinely extraordinary: two chances to rule out cuts to state pensions, cuts to the NHS, or income tax rises to fund his promise to abolish national insurance—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Mr Holden, I want you to set a good example, not a bad one.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 20th March 2024

(2 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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We now come to the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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I thank the Prime Minister for his words in welcoming Vaughan Gething to his post as First Minister of Wales. As the first black leader of any European Government, it is a historic moment that speaks to the progress and values of modern-day Wales. I also pay tribute to Mark Drakeford for his long, steady service in Wales.

With violent prisoners released early because the Tories wrecked the criminal justice system, 3,500 small boat arrivals already this year because the Tories lost control of the borders, the NHS struggling to see people because the Tories broke it, millions paying more on their mortgages, a Budget that hit pensioners and a £46 billion hole in his sums, why is the Prime Minister so scared to call an election?

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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I have prosecuted more people smugglers than the Prime Minister has had helicopter rides, and that is a lot. [Interruption.] I have done it. This Rwanda gimmick is going to cost the taxpayer £2 million for every one of his 300 people that they deport. I know the Prime Minister likes to spend a lot on jet-setting, but that is some plane ticket. It is the cost of Tory chaos, and it is working people who are paying the price. The man he made his Immigration Minister let the cat out of the bag when he said the Prime Minister’s

“symbolic flights…will not provide a credible…deterrent”.

We know the Prime Minister himself thought it would not work. If the people selling this gimmick do not believe in it, why should the country?

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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It is genuinely sad to see the Prime Minister reduced to this nonsense. Let us take another example, which I started with. [Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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After 14 years of Tory chaos in the prison system, the Justice Secretary was reduced to begging the Prime Minister either to send fewer offenders to prison or to release them even earlier. I must say I have sympathy for anyone trying to get an answer out of the Prime Minister. So what is it going to be: fewer criminals behind bars in the first place, or more released early on to our streets? Which is it?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 13th March 2024

(2 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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May I welcome the legislation on the Post Office scandal?

Mr Speaker, this week we lost the formidable Tommy McAvoy, who served his hometown of Rutherglen and the Labour Government with loyalty and good humour. We send our deepest sympathies to his wife, Eleanor, and their family.

We also learnt that the right hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May) will be taking her well-deserved retirement. She has served this House and her constituents with a real sense of duty, and her unwavering commitment to ending modern slavery is commended by all of us. We thank her for her service.

Is the Prime Minister proud to be bankrolled by someone using racist and misogynous language when he said that the right hon. Member for Hackney North and Stoke Newington (Ms Abbott)

“makes you want to hate all black women”?

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Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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The difference is that the Prime Minister is scared of his party; I have changed my party—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. I want to hear both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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Two weeks ago, the Prime Minister invited himself into everyone’s living room at 6 o’clock on a Friday evening. No one asked him to give that speech; he chose to do it. He chose to anoint himself as the great healer and pose as some kind of unifier, but when the man bankrolling his election says that the right hon. Member for Hackney North and Stoke Newington should be shot, he suddenly finds himself tongue-tied, shrinking in sophistry, hoping he can deflect for long enough that we will all go away. What does the Prime Minister think it was about the hundreds of millions of pounds of NHS contracts given to Frank Hester by his Government that first attracted him to giving £10 million to the Tory party in the first place?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 6th March 2024

(2 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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Three years ago, Sarah Everard was walking home when she was abducted and murdered by a serving police officer who should have been trusted to keep her safe. As a father, I cannot imagine the pain her parents, her family and her friends are going through in this difficult anniversary week. Lady Angiolini’s report exposes the appalling failure in police vetting and in misconduct processes, and I am very troubled by its conclusion that there is

“nothing to stop another Couzens operating in plain sight”.

How can that be the case, three years on from this horrendous crime?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 28th February 2024

(2 months, 4 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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May I join the Prime Minister in his remarks about Lord Cormack and Ronnie Campbell?

Tory MPs spent last week claiming that Britain is run by a shadowy cabal made up of activists, the deep state and, most chillingly of all, the Financial Times. At what point did his party give up on governing and become the political wing of the Flat Earth Society?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 21st February 2024

(3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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I start by welcoming my hon. Friends the new Members for Kingswood (Damien Egan) and for Wellingborough (Gen Kitchen). I know that they will both be powerful advocates for their constituents.

On a more sombre note, I join with the Prime Minister—I was glad to hear what he just had to say, because I am sure that the whole House will join me—in sharing our disgust at the death of Alexei Navalny, who, as the Prime Minister said, died because of his efforts to expose the corruption of the Putin regime. It is a reminder that Putin has stolen not just the wealth but the future and democracy of the Russian people.

Would the Prime Minister be prepared personally to repeat the allegation made by his Business Secretary that the former chair of the Post Office is “lying” when he says that he was told to “go slow” on compensation for postmasters, and “limp” to the next election?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 7th February 2024

(3 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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I join the Prime Minister in sending His Majesty the King our very best wishes for his treatment. Across the House, we all look forward to seeing him back to full health as quickly as possible.

This week, the unwavering bravery of Brianna Ghey’s mother, Esther, has touched us all. As a father, I cannot even imagine the pain that she is going through. I am glad that she is with us in the Gallery today.

A year ago, the Prime Minister promised to bring down NHS waiting lists. Isn’t he glad that he did not bet a grand on it?

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Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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Of all the weeks to say that, when Brianna’s mother is in this Chamber—shame! Parading as a man of integrity when he has got absolutely no responsibility, it is absolute—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. I think Members are getting carried away. Our constituents want to hear the questions and they certainly want to hear the answers. They do not want to hear organised barracking, so please, I want no more of it.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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I think the role of the Prime Minister is to ensure that every single citizen in this country feels safe and respected, and it is a shame that the Prime Minister does not share that view. I welcome the fact that he has finally admitted that he has failed on NHS waiting lists. I also welcome the fact that he has finally acknowledged the crisis in NHS dentistry. He is calling it a “recovery plan”, after 14 years of Tory Government. What exactly does he think NHS dentistry is recovering from?

Rishi Sunak Portrait The Prime Minister
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As ever—[Interruption.]

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Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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There are some areas in the country where people literally cannot have an NHS dentist, and the Prime Minister says that that is down to covid. People are literally pulling out their own teeth—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Let me just say that I do not need any more from those on the Government Front Bench either. Do we understand each other?

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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People are literally pulling out their teeth using pliers—an experience that can be compared with extracting an answer from the Prime Minister at the Dispatch Box. The truth is that after 14 years of neglect, this “recovery plan” is just a desperate attempt to recover back to square one. If he wanted to move forward, he should follow Labour: scrap the non-dom tax status and use the money to fund 2 million more hospital appointments every year. But the Prime Minister is oddly reluctant to follow us on this. What exactly is so special about this tax avoidance scheme that means he prioritises it above the NHS?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 24th January 2024

(4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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We now come to the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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Thank you, Mr Speaker. Can I join the Prime Minster in his comments about His Majesty the King and Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, and in his comments about Holocaust Memorial Day? “Never again” must be said more defiantly this year, as it is said every year.

Last week, we lost Sir Tony Lloyd, a true public servant who touched the lives of many people across the House and across the country. I am glad that his family were here yesterday to hear the many tributes to and memories of Tony. He will be greatly missed.

The Prime Minister has had quite a week—from endlessly fighting with his own MPs to collapsing in laughter when he was asked by a member of the public about NHS waiting lists—so I was glad to hear that he managed to take some time off—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. I wanted to hear the Prime Minister, and I am certainly going to hear the Leader of the Opposition. Those on the Conservative Benches who do not want to hear him can certainly leave. That is how it is going to be, so get in order. Some of you will be wanting to catch my eye again, and that is not a good way to do it.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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I love this quaint tradition where the more they slag him off behind his back, the louder they cheer him here.

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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The same goes for those on the Labour Benches. You can have a joint cup of tea.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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I was glad to see that the Prime Minister managed to get some time off yesterday afternoon to kick back, relax and accidentally record a candid video for Nigel Farage. The only thing missing from that punishing schedule is any sort of governing or leadership. So was he surprised to see one of his own MPs say,

“He does not get what Britain needs. And he is not listening to what…people want.”?

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Rishi Sunak Portrait The Prime Minister
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We do know that the right hon. and learned Gentleman is committed to his 2030 decarbonisation promise, which the Opposition say will cost £28 billion. I was reading about it this week. He says that he has changed the party, but one of his team called that promise “an albatross” hanging around their neck—that might have been the shadow Chancellor. But he said they are doubling down on it, and all this is ahead of a crunch meeting this week, we are told, for the Opposition to work out how they will pay for that. I can save them some time, because we all know the answer: higher taxes for the British people.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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There is only one party that crashed the economy, and they are sitting right there. [Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Mr Holmes, you have had your question already. Obviously you do not want to remain for the rest of questions.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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The Prime Minister is Mr 25 Tax Rises, and he has nothing to say on childcare. Millions of families will have been listening for an answer, and they got absolutely nothing. He announced the scheme a year ago, claiming that it would get 60,000 parents back into work. Only on Monday this week did he notice that there were, in his words, “some practical issues” with that. Eight weeks before its launch, parents cannot budget, plan for work or make arrangements with their employers. The Prime Minister’s response is to say, “It’s all fine. It’s the fault of the Labour party.” Is this merely a practical issue, or is it yet another example of him simply not understanding how life works for other people?

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. I will decide how long the question goes on for. For those who wish not to hear it, I have told you the answer, and I will help you on the way.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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When will the Prime Minister finally realise that the biggest practical issue facing Britain is the constant farcical incompetence of the Government he leads?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 17th January 2024

(4 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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I send my best wishes to the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Jason McCartney) and his father, and to all those suffering in that way.

I cannot let today pass without saying how saddened I was by the tragic death of Bronson Battersby, aged just two, who died in heartbreaking circumstances in Skegness. I know that the House will join me in sending our deepest sympathies to his family.

The Government have been forced to admit that they have lost contact with 85% of the 5,000 people earmarked for removal to Rwanda. Has the Prime Minister found them yet?

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Prime Minister, when I stand up, please sit down. Can I just say that we do not use props in this House? If you need reminding, I will certainly ensure that I do so.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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It is such utterly pathetic nonsense. The Prime Minister has been brutally exposed by his own MPs yet again. He has one party chair who says that she hopes the Lords will rip his Rwanda deal to pieces, and two more who had to quit because they do not think it will work—all of them appointed by him, all now in open revolt against his policy, each other, and reality. Is it any wonder that they all think this gimmick is doomed to failure when the Prime Minister himself does not believe in it?

Rishi Sunak Portrait The Prime Minister
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It is rich to hear from the right hon. and learned Gentleman about belief in something. It will be news to him that it is actually the case that you can believe in something and stick to that position on this side of the House. [Interruption.]

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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There are eight questions that I think some Members might want to hear answered. I tell you what: some who wanted questions have already gone off the list.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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If the Prime Minister stuck to his position, he would be voting with us. His former Home Secretary says that the plan will not work, his current Home Secretary calls it “batshit”, his former immigration Minister does not back his plan, and even the Prime Minister himself does not believe in it. Last week, another of his MPs said that the Tories should admit that things have got “worse” since they came to office, that after 14 years they have left Britain “less united”, and that the country is a “sadder” place. If the Prime Minister cannot even persuade his own MPs that it is worth supporting him, and if he himself does not even believe in his own policies, why on earth should anyone else think differently?

Speaker’s Statement: Sir Tony Lloyd

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 17th January 2024

(4 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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It is with great sorrow that I inform the House of the death of Sir Tony Lloyd. He was a valued colleague, who spent his life in public service. He will be remembered on all sides of the House with respect and affection. I am sure the House will join me in sending our sympathy to his family in their loss. [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”]

There will be an opportunity for Members to participate in a minute’s silence tomorrow, and to pay further tributes at a later date. I want to do that.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I know there will be tributes in due course, because many people in this House will want to speak in that session, but I am grateful for this point of order just to say a few words about Tony and this terrible loss this afternoon.

We are all deeply saddened at the loss of Tony. I spoke to him last Thursday, when he left hospital for the last time to spend as much time as he could with his family, and was able to pass on to him our thoughts, our respect and our affection for him and for his commitment, his public service and, frankly, his sheer decency. [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”]

I know that that is felt not just across the Labour party and the Labour movement, but across this House and beyond. May I say thank you to those opposite who have sent messages? It is a great comfort to his family to know the respect that he was held in across this House. Our thoughts this evening are of course with his family at this difficult time.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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As I say, there will be a minute’s silence tomorrow, and I will give the House an opportunity for further tributes to be paid.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 10th January 2024

(4 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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I heard what the Prime Minister just said about the Post Office scandal. It is a huge injustice; people lost their lives, their liberty and their livelihood, and they have been waiting far too long for the truth, for justice and for compensation. So I am glad that the Prime Minister is putting forward a proposal. We will look at the details, and it is the job of all of us to make sure that it delivers the justice that is so needed.

Back in 2022, when Boris Johnson claimed he would send asylum seekers to Rwanda, one ambitious Tory MP had reservations. He agreed with Labour that it would not work, it was a waste of money and it was the latest in a long line of gimmicks. Does the Prime Minister know what happened to that MP?

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Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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We should smash the gangs, process the claims and end hotel use: that is our plan, but, unlike the Prime Minister, I believe in it. [Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. I have got to hear the questions. I do not want interruptions. This is a very important topic and I take it seriously. I hope Members also wish to start taking it seriously.

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. I don’t think we are having more.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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We can all see what has happened here. Just like he knows that debt is not falling and taxes are going up, he knows the Rwanda gimmick will not work, but he cannot be honest about it because he is too scared of his own MPs. Does he not wish that he had stuck to his guns, rather than allow himself to be taken hostage by his own party?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 13th December 2023

(5 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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We now come to the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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Yesterday we heard of the tragic death of a young man on the Bibby Stockholm. I know that the whole House will want to send our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We must never let this happen again.

I would also like to mark the retirement of my colleague and friend Mark Drakeford, the First Minister of Wales. Mark committed his life to public service and lives his values every day. Quietly and patiently, Mark has been a titan of Labour and Welsh politics. We thank him for his service and wish him well.

Christmas is a time of peace on earth and good will to all—has anyone told the Tory party?

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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The Prime Minister can spin it all he likes, but the whole country can see that, yet again, the Tory party is in meltdown and everyone else is paying the price. He has kicked the can down the road, but in the last week his MPs have said of him that he is “not capable enough”, he is “inexperienced”, he is “arrogant”, and he is “a really bad politician”—[Interruption.] Government Members are shouting, but this is what they said. Come on: who was it who said he is “a really bad politician”? Hands up. [Interruption.] They are shouting. Well, what about “inexperienced”—who was that? Or—there have to be some hands for this—“he’s got to go”? [Interruption.] They are shy.

Apparently, the Prime Minister is holding a Christmas party next week—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. It is Christmas—[Hon. Members: “Hear, hear!”]—but you might not want the Christmas present that I could give you.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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Apparently, the Prime Minister is holding a Christmas party next week. How is the invite list looking?

Rishi Sunak Portrait The Prime Minister
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I thank the right hon. and learned Gentleman for all the comments, but he should hear what they have to say about him. [Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Do you want to be the first one? It is Christmas, and I am going to hear this. My constituents are going to have a Christmas like everyone else, and they want to know whether their Christmas is going to be affected, so I want less of it from all sides.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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Government Members have obviously found the donkey for their nativity—the search for three wise men might take a little longer. While they fight among themselves, there is a country out here that is not being governed, where more than 100,000 people are paying hundreds more a month on their mortgages. Energy bills are going back up in January. The economy is shrinking again. NHS waiting lists are at an all-time high. Does the Prime Minister not think that the Government would be better off fixing the messes they have already made, rather than scrambling to create new ones?

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Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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Is that really the Prime Minister’s Christmas message to Liam? Cocooned in his party management breakfast, he just cannot see the—

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Mr Cleverly, please. It is Christmas. I want a little bit of silence, and I am going to get it one way or another. That applies to each side.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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Cocooned in his party management breakfast, the Prime Minister just cannot see the country in front of him and what they have done.

I will finish by thanking hard-working families across Britain who kept our country going. It has been an impossibly difficult year for so many. I want to pay special tribute to our key workers, particularly those in emergency services and those serving abroad in our forces who, even at this time of year, are doing the vital work of protecting their country. I wish everyone, including Members on the Conservative Benches, a very happy and peaceful new year. Will the Prime Minister join me?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 29th November 2023

(6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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In an effort to hide from his failures, the Prime Minister spent this week arguing about an ancient relic that only a tiny minority of the British public have any interest in—but that’s enough about the Tory party. In 2019, they all promised the country that they would control immigration, saying “numbers will come down” and

“the British people will be in control”.

How is it going?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 22nd November 2023

(6 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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Like the Prime Minister, I know the whole House will welcome the agreement reached overnight. We repeat our calls for Hamas to release all hostages immediately. This humanitarian pause must be used to get the hostages out safely, to tackle the urgent and unacceptable humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, and to make progress to a full cessation of hostilities. In recent years, the international community has treated the two-state solution as a slogan, rather than a serious strategy. That must now change.

Like the Prime Minister, I am also sure that I speak for everyone in the House in saying that our hearts go out to the families and friends of the four young men from Shrewsbury who tragically lost their lives this week. It is a living nightmare for any parent, and I can hardly begin to imagine their loss.

This week, the Prime Minister unveiled the latest version of his five pledges for the country. Let us hope that he has more success with these than he did with the last ones. Did he forget the NHS?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 15th November 2023

(6 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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The Prime Minister obviously thinks so little of his own MPs that he has had to peel David Cameron away from his seven-year exile in a shepherd’s hut and make him Foreign Secretary. A few months ago, the Intelligence and Security Committee said that the now Foreign Secretary’s role in a Chinese investment fund may have been—these are its words—

“engineered by the Chinese state”.

I hardly need to remind the Prime Minister of the threat posed by the Chinese Communist party or the intimidation of Members of this House. When will he instruct the Foreign Secretary to give full public disclosure of his work for Chinese interests?

Rishi Sunak Portrait The Prime Minister
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As I said, I am delighted that the former Prime Minister has rejoined the Government as Foreign Secretary. As an individual with unrivalled experience, he will help Britain to navigate an uncertain world in challenging times. Of course, like every other Minister, he will go through the normal process with the independent adviser. The Government’s position on China is clear: China represents an epoch-defining challenge. That is why we have taken strong and robust steps to protect ourselves against the risk that it poses. We will take no lessons from the Labour party on protecting our national security. It has taken almost £700,000 from an alleged Chinese agent. [Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Those on the Front Bench just need to calm down.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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For someone who has spent the last few weeks complaining about recycling bins, it is ironic that the Prime Minister’s latest reset involves recycling the architects of 13 years of Tory failure. This is the Prime Minister who reanimated the career of the right hon. and learned Member for Fareham (Suella Braverman) in order to resuscitate his own, just days after she was sacked for a national security breach. Is he ashamed that he was so desperate to become Tory leader and so scared to face a vote that he put someone so totally unfit for office in charge of Britain’s national security?

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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The right hon. Member for Islington North is not even a Labour MP any more. It is a changed party with strong leadership. [Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. We have a lot of very important business today with some important votes. I want to get through this speedily.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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For 13 years, our security has been undermined by this Tory Government, and now we have the most ridiculous, pathetic spectacle of all: the Prime Minister’s Rwanda scheme, cooked up with his national security threat former Home Secretary, has blown up. He was told over and over again that this would happen, that it would not work and that it was just the latest Tory gimmick, but he bet everything on it and now he is totally exposed. The central pillar of his Government has crumbled beneath him. Does he want to apologise to the country for wasting £140 million of taxpayers’ cash and wasting his entire time in office?

Rishi Sunak Portrait The Prime Minister
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Obviously the right hon. and learned Gentleman did not hear what I said about our approach to Rwanda. When it comes to stopping the boats, Rwanda is one part of our plan, which has already delivered a reduction in the number of small boats this year by a third. He talks about apologising and he talks about the right hon. Member for Islington North not being a Labour MP now. Yes, he was not a Labour MP when he declined 15 different times to say that Hamas are a terrorist organisation this week, which is shameful, but he was a Labour MP—indeed, the right hon. and learned Gentleman served with him. He told the country that the right hon. Member for Islington North would make “a great Prime Minister”. At that point, the right hon. Member for Islington North described Hamas as friends. Does he want to apologise for that now? [Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Are we serious? [Hon. Members: “Yes.”] Oh, I would not challenge. I have to say that our constituents are watching this. They are very concerned about the affairs of today and the votes later. A lot of Members wish to speak. Those who do not want that to happen, please, go outside and have a conversation there. If you want to bawl and shout, do it elsewhere, but it will not be happening in here today.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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I am so glad that the Prime Minister agrees that this is a changed Labour party. While he was wasting his time on this gimmick, the asylum backlog has swollen to 175,000 people. Taxpayers are paying £8 million a day on hotel bills, and 615 people arrived by small boat last Sunday alone. Plan A has failed. After this session, whether he likes it or not, he will have to go back to his office, back to the drawing board and start from scratch. Can he assure the British public that he will drop what his former Home Secretary calls his “magical thinking” and start treating small boat crossings with the seriousness they deserve?

Debate on the Address

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Tuesday 7th November 2023

(6 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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Before I turn to the Humble Address, I am sure the whole House will join me in paying tribute to His Majesty the King on the occasion of his first Gracious Speech as our sovereign. Of course, he gave the speech last year, and has for some time enjoyed the best view in the House on how it should be done. None the less, this is a new chapter for him and our country, so we pay tribute to him.

I also congratulate both the mover and seconder of the Humble Address for their fantastic speeches. The right hon. Member for Scarborough and Whitby (Sir Robert Goodwill) once again showed us his deep love for his constituency and delivered a truly great speech. He has been a good servant and is well respected across the House, but he is now wanted again on his farm. I can inform the House that he is also one of this country’s leading steam engine enthusiasts and the proud owner of a Fowler K5 ploughing engine, which is not a tractor, but is none the less a beautiful machine that on a good day, when he really steps on it, can still give the TransPennine Express a run for its money. However, I warn him to be careful: there are some weird and wonderful details in all those Network North announcements, and the Prime Minister might commandeer his Fowler—for illustrative purposes only, of course.

It was great to hear the hon. Member for Stroud (Siobhan Baillie) make a powerful speech to this House. It is only right that the Prime Minister selected someone with good sense to second the Humble Address, and so of course he had to turn to a working-class lawyer with a connection to Camden. I can say from personal knowledge, and from many people in Camden, that as a Camden councillor she was respected across parties, as she is here. A year ago, she rightly pointed out that

“there are many ways to boost domestic energy security using nuclear, solar, marine energy…and onshore wind”—

an argument that shows exactly why she has a bright future within her party. It is a shame that, instead of choosing her to second the Humble Address, the Prime Minister did not ask her to write the energy section of the King’s Speech.

We are lucky enough not to have lost any Members of this House since the last Address, but, as we approach the end of this cycle, it is only right that we once again remember those whom we all still miss so much, who left us earlier in this Parliament. On the Opposition Benches we lost our beloved friend Jack Dromey, a champion of working people for the ages. On the Government Benches we lost Dame Cheryl Gillan, James Brokenshire and of course Sir David Amess, who was taken from us in the vilest and cruellest of circumstances. We on the Opposition Benches still mourn the loss of Jo Cox, one of our brightest lights, seven years ago now in similar fashion, so we reach out across the aisle and say of Sir David, as does the plaque put up in the Chamber in recent weeks, “His light remains.”

Mr Speaker, it is also customary to welcome new Members to the House—although, given that you are a stickler for parliamentary time limits, that could be difficult. I welcome all 11 new Members to the first of these debates: one for the Conservative party, two for the Liberal Democrats and eight for Labour. Those are victories that show, without question, that Britain is ready for change; victories that have reduced the Conservative party—now nearly 14 years in power—to the desperate spectacle of claiming that it offers change away from itself.

Today’s speech shows just how ridiculous that posturing is, because what we have before us is a plan for more of the same: more sticking plasters; more division; more party first, country second gimmicks; and no repudiation of the utterly discredited idea that economic growth is something that the few hand down to the many. In fact, today we reached something of a new low, because the Conservatives are not even pretending to govern any more. They have given up on any sense of service. They see our country’s problems as something to be exploited, not solved. In doing that, they underestimate the British people, because what Britain wants is for them to stop messing around and get on with the job. People want action, not inaction; solutions to real problems, not the imaginary ones that haunt the Conservative party’s imagination; a Government who are committed to the national interest, not desperately trying to save their own skin.

Our schools are crumbling, waiting lists are rising, rivers and streams are dying, infrastructure is being cancelled, violent criminals are being released early, the Conservatives’ mortgage bombshell is blowing up the finances of millions, growth is set to be the lowest in the G7 next year, and taxes are higher than at any time since the war—the Prime Minister raised them himself 25 times. The Tory recipe for British decline: low growth, high tax, crumbling public services, with the Prime Minister serving up more of the same.

Of course, there are steps we can welcome: Jade’s law, Martyn’s law and an independent regulator in football. We have said that on smoking and public health, the Prime Minister can count on our votes. We will always serve the national interest. That is why this House has stood united in our support for Ukraine since the start of Putin’s aggression, and we must never lose our resolve or focus.

The speech mentions the terrible events in Israel and Palestine. It is now one month exactly since the senseless murder of Jews by the terrorists of Hamas and the taking of hostages on 7 October. Every new day in Gaza brings with it more pain, more suffering, more agony. Hostages are still held; thousands of civilians are dead, including so many innocent women and children; millions are struggling for the basics of life—food, water, sanitation, medicines and fuel. We cannot and we will not close our eyes to their suffering. We need a humanitarian pause now and for the hostages to be released now. Israel has the right and duty to defend herself, but that is not a blank cheque; it must comply with international law. This House must commit to doing whatever it can to keep alive the light of peace, so we welcome the clear commitment in the speech to supporting the two-state solution.

To return once more to the Conservatives’ plan for Britain, the biggest question is how they think that this is anywhere near good enough. After all the chaos they have unleashed—after levelling up, “No rules were broken,” “We’re all in it together,” and all the other broken promises of the last 13 years—this is the plan that they put to the working people of this country and say, “Trust us, we’ve changed.” It’s laughable. They cannot see Britain: that is the only possible conclusion. The walls of this place are too high. But let me assure the House that Britain sees them, and Britain sees today that they offer no change on public services, no change on the cost of living crisis, and no change to the economic model that has failed to give working people the security and opportunity that they deserve. That is the change that Britain needs, and today was a missed opportunity.

We needed a King’s Speech that would draw a line under 13 years of Tory decline—a King’s Speech for national renewal and a serious plan for growth. But instead, we have a party so devoid of leadership that it is happy to follow a Home Secretary who describes homelessness as a “lifestyle choice” and believes that the job of protecting us all from extremists—the most basic job of government—is legitimate terrain for her divisive brand of politics. As Director of Public Prosecutions, I worked closely with the police and counter-terrorism forces. Their job is hard enough already without the Home Secretary using it as a platform for her own ambitions. I say to the Prime Minister: think very carefully about what she is committing your Government to do, and think very carefully about the consequences of putting greater demands on public servants at the coalface of keeping us safe—because without a serious Home Secretary, there can be no serious Government, and he cannot be a serious Prime Minister.

Homelessness is a choice—it is a political choice. Constant U-turns on no-fault evictions are political choices. Not facing up to the blockers of aspiration on the Government Benches is a political choice. And it is not that there aren’t better choices. On the Opposition Benches, we have a plan to build 1.5 million homes across the country, with a reformed planning regime that will unlock our potential, because you can’t fix homelessness without increasing the supply of housing, you can’t boost growth unless workers have the homes they need, and you can’t escape the cost of living crisis unless there is more affordable housing.

We all know why the Prime Minister finds himself in this position, but if he is prepared to stand up to the blockers, and if he shows he can radically improve the supply of housing by bringing back national housing targets, then yes, he can count on Labour votes, because that is what this country needs most: a credible plan for growth; a Britain where growth comes from the grassroots and growth serves the grassroots, with higher living standards in every community—an ambition that can only be delivered if we roll up our sleeves and get building. At the moment, just to get a tunnel built in this country can require a planning application 30 times longer than the complete works of Shakespeare. That is why today we needed a planning Bill to strip out the red tape and get Britain building.

We also needed a bold commitment to train the next generation, with new technical colleges, apprenticeship levy reform and expert teachers in every classroom, giving British businesses the skills they need. We needed a modern industrial strategy on a statutory footing, with a Bill to match—a signal of intent to the world that we are serious about fighting for the jobs of the future. We needed an employment Bill. Time and again, this Bill has been promised; time and again, it fails to materialise, when we could be scrapping fire and rehire, ending zero-hours contracts, making work pay with a real living wage and saying unambiguously that strong workers’ rights are good for growth. What we got instead is an exercise in economic miserabilism: an admission that his Government have no faith in Britain’s ability to avert decline.

Take the oil and gas Bill announced today—a Bill that everyone in the energy sector knows is a political gimmick and even the Energy Secretary admits will not take a single penny off anyone’s bills. I do not know which of his seven bins the Prime Minister chucked her meat tax in, but this one will follow soon. None the less, it is a gimmick that tells a story: a King’s Speech with no concern for the national interest, wallowing in a pessimism that says the hard road to a better future isn’t for Britain.

It has been this way for 13 years now: a failure to seize the opportunities, perhaps even to see the opportunities; working people hit because the Conservatives did not build the gas storage, they did not invest in clean British energy, and they scrapped home insulation. And they are doing it all again: moving the targets back, and passing it on to the next generation, even as costs rise and rise. This is sticking-plaster politics—an approach as riven through the foundations of our security as the crumbling concrete in our schools. The never-ending cycle of Tory Britain: party first, country second; drift, stagnate, decline.

We have to turn the page. The Government are wrong about clean energy—it is cheaper, it is British and it can give us real security against tyrants like Putin. More importantly, they are wrong about Britain. We can win the race for jobs of tomorrow; we can work hand in glove with the private sector and invest in critical infrastructure—the gigafactories, the new ports and the clean British steel that can once again light the fire of renewal in British industrial communities.

Today was the day we could have struck the match for that light, embraced a new sense of mission and tackled the cost of living crisis with a new plan for growth. There was a chance to get Britain building again—take back our streets, get the NHS back on its feet, deliver cheaper bills with real energy security, and tear down the barriers to opportunity—but for the 14th year in a row, the Government passed it up, severed their relationship with Britain’s future and gave up on the national interest.

The speech shows with ever greater clarity that the only fight left in the Government is the fight for their own skin—a Government who have given up, dragging Britain down with them, ever more steadily towards decline; a day on which it became crystal clear that the change Britain needs is from Tory decline to Labour renewal.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Prime Minister.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 25th October 2023

(7 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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I join the Prime Minister in his comments about all those affected by the storms.

I start by welcoming my hon. Friend the new Member for Mid Bedfordshire (Alistair Strathern)—the first Labour MP ever to represent those beautiful towns and villages. He defied the odds, history and of course the fantasy Lib Dem bar charts. I also welcome my hon. Friend the new Member for Tamworth (Sarah Edwards). She will be a powerful representative for her constituents. Is the Prime Minister as relieved as I am that those constituents are not burdened with his defeated candidate, who told them—do not worry, Mr Speaker; I am going to sanitise this—to eff off if they are struggling with the cost of living?

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Just to say, it is Prime Minister’s questions, not Opposition’s questions. [Interruption.] I am sorry, Prime Minister; it is Prime Minister’s questions. I do not need you nodding against my decision.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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I am sure that Annalisa and her children, who have now been evicted, will take great comfort from that non-answer.

Emma and her teenage son saw their mortgage go up by more than a quarter—[Interruption.] Government Members may think this is funny, but this is real life. After 16 years of dutifully paying the mortgage, for the first time she is having to choose between new shoes for her son and putting the heating on—all because the Prime Minister’s party crashed the economy, pushing mortgage rates to their highest levels in decades. He says, “Ignore all that”—ignore the fact that the guilty men and women responsible are standing again as his candidates and still setting his policy. Can he not see why Emma might think that his party is telling them exactly where to go?

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Sorry—Keir Starmer.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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Across our country the British people are rolling up their sleeves and getting on with it, doing their best in the face of a punishing cost of living crisis and a Government who have abandoned them—abandoned renters at risk of being kicked out, abandoned mortgage payers struggling to make ends meet, and abandoned people who dream of owning their own house. The truth is that the Prime Minister’s candidate in Tamworth summed up perfectly just how he and his Tories are treating the British public, so will he just call a general election and give the British public the chance to respond, as they did in Selby, Mid Beds and Tamworth? They have heard the Government telling them to eff off, and they want the chance to return the compliment.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 18th October 2023

(7 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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Can I start by warmly welcoming my hon. Friend the new Member for Rutherglen and Hamilton West (Michael Shanks)? The news last night of hundreds killed at the Baptist hospital in Gaza is incredibly distressing, but it is much worse for the people of Gaza. Their fear that there is no place of safety is profound. International law must be upheld, and that means hospitals and civilian lives must be protected. Last night the Foreign Secretary said that the UK will work with our allies to find out what has happened. I know that this only happened last night, but can the Prime Minister please tell us when he thinks he might be able to update the House on progress with that work?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 13th September 2023

(8 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We come to the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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I join the Prime Minister in his words about the Clerk of the House.

I pay tribute to the police who tracked down the escaped terror suspect from Wandsworth prison last week. Despite being charged with terrorism, and despite being a flight risk, he was not held in a category A prison. Why not?

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. I did say this last week, and it will continue this week: anyone who wants to start the session by leaving, please do so. I am happy to help you on your way.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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Every week, whatever the topic, the Prime Minister paints this picture as if everything is great and fine out there. It is so at odds with the lived experience in the real world.

Let me turn to another serious security concern. Some in this House face sanction, intimidation and threats from the Chinese state. When I asked the Prime Minister on Monday whether the Foreign Secretary raised the specific issue of the alleged spy arrested in March when he visited China a few weeks ago, he would only say that he raised that “type of activity”, but avoided specifics. I ask the Prime Minister again: did the Foreign Secretary raise this specific case when he visited China—yes or no?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 6th September 2023

(8 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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I join the Prime Minister in congratulating the Lionesses, and also in his comments about Sergeant Saville; I think we speak for the whole House when we speak on that subject.

I also extend the warmest welcome to my hon. Friend the new Labour Member for Selby and Ainsty (Keir Mather). He has already made history for the Labour party by overturning the largest Tory majority ever in a by-election. I also welcome the hon. Members for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Steve Tuckwell) and for Somerton and Frome (Sarah Dyke).

The roof of Singlewell Primary School in Gravesend collapsed in May 2018. Thankfully, it happened at the weekend and no children were injured. The concrete ceiling was deemed dangerous and liable to collapse, and everyone knew that the problem existed in other schools, yet the Prime Minister decided to halve the budget for school maintenance just a couple of years later. Does he agree with his Education Secretary that he should be thanked for doing a “good job”?

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. We do not want to start off with somebody leaving early, because that is what will happen.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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Well, Mr Speaker, Conservative Members want more, so let me continue. Ferryhill School in County Durham was on Labour’s building list in 2010. The Government scrapped that, and now children there are in a crumbling school. The truth is that this crisis is the inevitable result of 13 years of cutting corners, botched jobs and sticking plaster politics. It is the sort of thing you expect from cowboy builders: saying that everyone else is wrong and everyone else is to blame, and protesting that they have done an effing good job even as the ceiling falls in. The difference is that in this case, the cowboys are running the country. Is the Prime Minister not ashamed that, after 13 years of Tory Government, children are cowering under steel supports stopping their classroom roof from falling in? [Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Seriously, calm down. I understand that this is the first session and people are excited to be back at school, but we expect better behaviour.

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Rishi Sunak Portrait The Prime Minister
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Before today, the right hon. and learned Gentleman never once raised this issue with me in Parliament. It was not even worthy of a single mention in his so-called landmark speech on education this summer. If we had listened to him, our kids would have been off school and locked down for longer—it is as simple as that. He talks about 13 years; well, let us see what has happened. When we came into office, two thirds of schools were rated “good” and “outstanding”; now, it is 90%. We introduced the pupil premium to get more funding to the most disadvantaged pupils. Today, they are 75% more likely to go to university. And, as a result of our reforms, we now have the best readers in the western world. That is what 13 years of education reform gets you, all of which was opposed by the Labour party.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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The Prime Minister claims to be a man of detail, but there have been 100 parliamentary questions from the Opposition on this issue, and an Opposition day motion. Let us continue: Holy Family Catholic School in Bradford was on the Labour building list in 2010. The Government scrapped that, and now children there too are in a crumbling school—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Mr Holden, I have heard enough. This is the last time; make up your mind. Either you go now or you are quiet for the remainder.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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If you can believe it, Mr Speaker, in April this year, the Education Secretary signed a contract for refurbishment of her offices. It has her personal stamp of approval on it. It cost—I cannot quite believe this—£34 million. Can the Prime Minister explain to parents whose children are not at school this week why he thinks that a blank cheque for a Tory Minister’s office is better use of taxpayer’s money than stopping schools from collapsing?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 19th July 2023

(10 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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Labour in government was proud to repeal the ban on LGBT+ people serving in our armed forces, and today we strongly welcome this apology from the Prime Minister as a recognition of their historic mistreatment. My constituent Ken Wright was a proud RAF serviceman who was forced to leave the job he loved simply because he was gay. I am delighted that he is here today to witness this apology. Although we cannot right the wrongs of the past, the Government should now act on the recommendations of the Etherton review to fix the lives broken by the ban—it is what LGBT+ veterans deserve.

I also know that the whole House will want to send our very best wishes to the Lionesses as they start their World cup campaign this Saturday. Let us hope they continue the brilliant success they had in the Euros.

When the Prime Minister took office nine months ago, the NHS waiting list had 7.2 million people on it. What is the number today?

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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Mr Speaker—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. The Prime Minister likes to get away early, but the longer Members stop me getting on with the questions, the longer I am going to keep him here, so it is up to them.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am sure the whole House is pleased that the Prime Minister has graced us with his presence today, but we do not get any more answers when he is here than when he is not. He knows the answer: 7-point million people are currently on the waiting lists. That is the highest it has ever been. It means that since he set foot into Downing Street, 260,000 people have been waiting in daily agony for things like hip and knee replacements, while he boasts. Has he figured out why, after nine months, dozens of gimmicks and umpteen broken promises, his Government are failing more patients than ever before?

Rishi Sunak Portrait The Prime Minister
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Mr Speaker, again, I do not think we heard an answer to the question, so— [Interruption.]

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. This would be a bad time to get thrown out—it is six weeks, so think long and hard. I just say to the Prime Minister: this is Prime Minister’s questions, not Opposition questions.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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Mr Speaker, I think that, given his time away, the Prime Minister has slightly forgotten how this works. He talks about his NHS staffing plan, but he doesn’t need to lecture me—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. This might be the last Prime Minister’s questions before recess, but let me just say to somebody that if they really want to go early, it will be very tempting to ensure that happens, so they should think long and hard beforehand.

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

You want some more? Who wants to lead the exit?

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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In that burst of nonsense, what we did not hear was a single word about how the Prime Minister will pay for it. Labour’s NHS workforce plan is fully funded by scrapping the non-dom status that he so adores. You know the one, Mr Speaker—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

Order. I think that one or two of you have asked to catch my eye. You are not going about it in the right way.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Labour’s workforce plan is fully funded by scrapping the non-dom status that the Prime Minister so adores. You know the one, Mr Speaker: the “non-dom tax thing”, as he calls it, that allows some of the wealthiest people in the country to avoid paying tax here. Is that loophole so important to him that he would rather have billions in unfunded promises than simply make billionaires pay what they owe?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 21st June 2023

(11 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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I echo the Prime Minister’s comments about the Windrush generation, who have contributed so much to our country, and join him in paying tribute to the armed forces, in this week and all weeks.

Let me also say that Glenda Jackson’s passing leaves a space in our cultural and political life that can never be filled. She played many roles, with great distinction, passion and commitment: Academy award-winning actor, campaigning Labour MP, and an effective Government Minister. We will never see talent like hers again.

One of the Prime Minister’s own MPs says that Britain is facing a “mortgage catastrophe”. Does he agree with her?

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Seriously? [Interruption.] Sorry? I don’t think we need any more, do we? No.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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I appreciate that the Prime Minister has a keen interest in the mortgage market in California, but I am talking about mortgage holders here. Whilst his Government are consumed in lawbreaking, chaos and division, working people are paying the price. This morning, I spoke to James in Selby. He is a police officer, working hard to keep people safe every day. The Tory mortgage penalty is going to cost him and his family £400 more each and every month. That is nearly £5,000. He told me this morning—Conservative Members may not want to hear this—that they have decided to sell their house and to downsize, and he has just told his children they are going to have to start sharing bedrooms. Why should James and his family pay the cost of the Prime Minister’s failure?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 14th June 2023

(11 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. I think we will have more if we carry on—it will be outside rather than in here. I call Keir Starmer.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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Honours should be for public service, not Tory cronies. Is it not the case that the Prime Minister was too weak to block Johnson’s list? That also means that those who spent their time helping to cover up Johnson’s lawbreaking are rewarded by becoming lawmakers for the rest of their lives. Is his message to the British public, “If you don’t like it, tough”?

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. The Prime Minister should not criticise other Members, and he is not responsible for the other parties. The Prime Minister is answering, not asking, the questions—[Interruption.] Order. Does somebody want to challenge my decision?

I call Keir Starmer.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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The truth is that the country is paying the price of this endless cycle of chaos and distraction. The Tory economic crash means that millions of mortgage holders will pay thousands of pounds more next year, and the blame lies squarely at the door of a Government who are more focused on the internal wars of the Tory party than the needs of the country. Does the Prime Minister not think that those responsible should hang their heads in shame?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 24th May 2023

(1 year ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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How many work visas were issued to foreign nationals last year?

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. I am going to hear this question. For those who do not want to hear it, we know the answer to that.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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Conservative Members all stood on those manifestos, so why does the Prime Minister think his Home Secretary seems to have such a problem coping with points-based systems?

Rishi Sunak Portrait The Prime Minister
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Mr Speaker—[Interruption.]

Rishi Sunak Portrait The Prime Minister
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Just this week we announced the biggest ever single measure to tackle legal migration, removing the right for international students to bring dependants, toughening the rules on post-study work and reviewing maintenance requirements. But what is the right hon. and learned Gentleman’s contribution? There are absolutely no ideas. There are absolutely no ideas, and absolutely no semblance that there would be any control. Why? Because he believes in an open-door migration policy.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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If anyone wants to see what uncontrolled immigration looks like, all they have to do is wake up tomorrow morning, listen to the headlines and see what this Government—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Mr Bristow, I think you are going to be leaving. I am asking you to leave now; otherwise, I will name you. I am not having it, and I have warned you before. It is the same people—[Interruption.] And the same will happen on the other side of the House.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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The reason they are issuing so many visas is because of labour and skills shortages, and the reason for the shortages is the low-wage Tory economy. Under the Prime Minister’s Government’s rules, businesses in IT, engineering, healthcare, architecture and welding can pay foreign workers 20% less than British workers for years and years on end. Does he think his policy is encouraging businesses to train people here or hire from abroad?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 3rd May 2023

(1 year ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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I join the Prime Minister in his comments about the coronation. Across the House, we are all looking forward to the celebrations this weekend.

Does the Prime Minister know how many mortgage payers are paying higher rates since the Tory party crashed the economy last autumn?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 26th April 2023

(1 year, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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I join the Prime Minister in paying tribute to the brave British personnel involved in the evacuation effort from Sudan. The Government must do everything in their power to urgently evacuate UK nationals still trapped in Sudan.

Yesterday, George Osborne said that the Tory party’s handling of the economy makes them “vandals”. He is right, isn’t he?

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. We had enough of this last week and I am certainly not having this continuous noise. Just be aware that somebody will be going for that cup of tea today.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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The Prime Minister calls it “this non-dom thing”. Let us be honest about what his refusal to scrap the non-dom status means. It means that at every possible opportunity he has voted to put taxes up on working people, while at the same time taking every possible opportunity to protect a tax avoidance scheme that helps his own finances. Why is the Prime Minister telling people across the country that their taxes must go up so that his can stay low?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 19th April 2023

(1 year, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The Tory party chair says that public services are in pretty good shape. Has the Prime Minister met a single member of the public who agrees with him?

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Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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Either the Prime Minister—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Our constituents want to hear the questions and the answers. You will progress questions beyond—[Interruption.] The Prime Minister wants to leave early, along with the Leader of the Opposition. Help me to help them!

--- Later in debate ---
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. I want to us get through these questions, and so do my constituents. To any Member present who is not interested in his or her constituents, I say, “Please leave the Chamber.”

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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When I was in office as Director of Public Prosecutions, those on the Benches opposite were my greatest supporters. In 2013, the Home Affairs Committee said:

“ We would…like to commend the work of the Director for Public Prosecution, Keir Starmer… Mr Starmer has striven to improve the treatment of…sexual assault”.

The Committee goes on to say—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Prime Minister’s Questions matter to our constituents. [Interruption.] I wouldn’t if I were you; it is not the day for it. I want to get through these questions, because I am trying to help the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. You are not being helpful, but we will hear this question, no matter how long it takes.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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This was in 2013—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Ms Stevenson, I have heard you for a few weeks, and this will be the last week. I suggest that you keep quiet, otherwise it is better that you leave.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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In 2013, the Home Affairs Committee went on to say that the work I did

“should provide a model to…other agencies”,

and that

“when he leaves the Crown Prosecution Service…he will be missed.”

That report was presented to Parliament by the then Home Secretary and future Prime Minister, the right hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), and the Government—those on the opposite Benches—noted and supported it. It is obviously always a good look to have your work recognised, although they did lay it on a bit thick.

Perhaps the Prime Minister should spend less time trying to rewrite history and more time sorting out the mess that he has made of criminal justice; but the crisis in criminal justice is just a snapshot of public services collapsing on his watch. People can see it wherever they look. Our roads, our trains, the NHS, the asylum system, policing, mental health provision—the Tories have broken them all, and all that they have left are excuses and blame. I know that the Prime Minister would rather talk about a maths lesson than about the state of the country, but perhaps he could solve this equation: why, after 13 years of a Tory Government, are patients waiting longer than ever, criminals walking free and growth non-existent, and why, everywhere we look, does nothing seem to work at all?

Rishi Sunak Portrait The Prime Minister
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I cannot quite remember, but I think the right hon. and learned Gentleman started by talking about the time when he was Director of Public Prosecutions, in 2013. I am actually glad he brought that up, because something else happened when he was DPP in 2013: he got his own special law, and I have it right here. It is called The Pensions Increase—[Interruption.]

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 22nd March 2023

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
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Today we remember the innocent lives lost six years ago in the terror attack on Westminster bridge. Among those tragically killed was PC Keith Palmer, who sacrificed his life to protect others. Police officers up and down the country work tirelessly every day to keep us safe, and we thank them for that. But as we saw this week, those brave officers are being let down. Dame Louise Casey found institutional homophobia, misogyny and racism in the Metropolitan police. I accept those findings in full. Does the Prime Minister?

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Today is a big day in the House, and a very important day. We do want to make progress. Holding us up is not advantageous to any of us.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Mr Speaker, he needs to get out of Westminster, get out of Kensington—and I do not mean to Malibu, but to the streets of Britain. He needs to go there, tell people it is all fine and see what reaction he gets. The answer that he did not want to give, although he knows it, is 4%. So 96% of theft and burglary cases are not even going before the courts. Burglars are twice as likely to get away with it now as they were a decade ago. The Government should be ashamed of that record. That cul-de-sac in Armthorpe has apparently seen 10 burglaries in 18 months, but only one of them has resulted in a prosecution. So rather than boasting and blaming others, why does the Prime Minister not tell the country when he is going to get the theft and burglary charge rate back to where it was before they wrecked policing?

Rishi Sunak Portrait The Prime Minister
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First of all, let me say that North Yorkshire is a lot further away than north London. [Interruption.]

Rishi Sunak Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

And they will be Yorkshire teas, Mr Speaker.

Since the Conservatives came to power, crime is down 50%, violent crime is down 40%, and burglary—the right hon. and learned Gentleman mentioned burglary—is down 56%. Why? Because we have recruited 20,000 more police officers, we have given them the powers to tackle crime, and we have kept serious offenders in prison for longer. All that the Opposition have done is vote against greater protections for emergency workers, oppose tougher sentences for violent criminals, and they are failing to give the police the powers they need. It is the same old Labour: soft on crime, soft on criminals.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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The only criminal investigation that the Prime Minister has ever been involved in is the one that found him guilty of breaking the law. I have prosecuted countless rapists—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. I am determined to hear these exchanges, whether from the Leader of the Opposition or the Prime Minister. [Interruption.] Sorry? I think you might be the first customer for tea, Mr Cairns. We keep having this little problem; we will have no more. Please, let us get through this and just show some respect to both people at the Dispatch Boxes.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Thank you, Mr Speaker. I have prosecuted countless rapists and I support tougher sentences, but you have to catch the criminals first, and when 98% of rapists are not even being put before the court, that is a massive failure of the Government. If the Prime Minister wants to go to Armthorpe, which is in Yorkshire, why does he not go to that cul-de-sac, when he gets out and about in Yorkshire, and ask about those 10 burglaries that have not been prosecuted? The reality is that after 13 years of Tory government, they have done nothing on standards; neighbourhood policing has been shattered; and burglars and rapists walk the streets with impunity. It is the same every week from the Prime Minister: whether it is the cost of living crisis, crime running out of control or the state of the NHS, why is his answer always to tell the British people they have never had it so good?

Rishi Sunak Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Let me just address the issue that the right hon. and learned Gentleman raised, because I said at the time that I respected the decision that the police reached, and I offered an unreserved apology. For the avoidance of doubt, at the moment that that happened, there was a full investigation by a very senior civil servant, the findings of which confirmed that I had no advance knowledge about what had been planned, having arrived early for a meeting. But he does not need me to tell him that; he has probably spoken to the report’s author much more frequently than I have. [Interruption.]

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 15th March 2023

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Last summer, the Prime Minister claimed that he wanted to protect free speech and put a stop to no-platforming, so how concerned was he by last week’s campaign by Tory MPs to cancel a broadcaster?

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. I am not being funny, but I think our constituents want us to get to the Budget. The more you shout, the more you delay questions. Please, my constituents are interested even if yours are not.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
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Conservative Members are calling for more from a Prime Minister who does not understand that we can disagree with what someone says while still defending their right to say it. If he does not understand that, we have a real problem. Does he accept that people’s concerns about the BBC have been made worse because the Government chose to put a Tory donor with no broadcasting experience in charge of the BBC?

Rishi Sunak Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

As he well knows, the BBC chairman was appointed before I became Prime Minister. [Interruption.]

Rishi Sunak Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

There was a rigorous, independent and long-established process. The appointment was supported by expert panel members, as well as by the cross-party Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee. That process is being independently reviewed by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, and we should allow the review to conclude.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

The problem is that the chair of the BBC is not just any old Tory donor. He is so close to the Prime Minister—[Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. Mr Fabricant, I want you to be here for the Budget. We do not want cups of tea to come that early.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

The chair of the BBC is no ordinary Tory donor. He is so close to the Prime Minister that he has been described as the Prime Minister’s mentor. He helped to arrange an £800,000 credit line for the former Prime Minister—a minor detail he forgot to tell the Select Committee that scrutinised his appointment. Does the Prime Minister think his friend’s position is still tenable?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 8th March 2023

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

If the Prime Minister was serious about stopping the boats, he would steal our plan on stopping the boats, smash the gangs, sort out the returns and clean up the utter mess. [Interruption.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. I am going to hear this, and nobody is going to—[Interruption.] I wouldn’t if I were you. I think we have heard enough. I want to hear the questions and the answers. They will not be interrupted.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Nobody on the Labour Benches wants open borders. Those on the Conservative Benches have lost control of the borders. The Prime Minister promised the country that the Bill will stop all small boat crossings, no ifs, no buts. It sounds like more talk, so in the interests of adequate action, when will he achieve that?

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. We will continue. When you keep shouting, it prolongs things. Some of you are trying to catch my eye. When you are disappointed, I do not want any complaints. Let us get through these questions, so we can get some Back Benchers in.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

All that nonsense because the Prime Minister does not want to answer the question. He knows what the answer is. The number is 21. I thought he was a man of detail. The number is 21—21—people out of the 18,000. What happens to the rest? They sit in hotels and digs for months on end at the taxpayer’s expense. Last year he promised to end the hotel farce—that is the talk—but because of his mess there are thousands of people who cannot claim asylum and cannot be returned, so where does he actually think they are going to end up?

Rishi Sunak Portrait The Prime Minister
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

The right hon. and learned Gentleman talks about the pressure on our asylum system, but we have a clear plan to stop people coming here in the first place. Labour Members have absolutely no plan on this issue because they simply do not want to tackle the problem. We introduced tougher sentences for people smugglers—they opposed it. We signed a deal with Rwanda—they opposed it. We are deporting foreign offenders as we speak—they oppose it. [Interruption.]

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 1st March 2023

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- View Speech - Hansard - -

Order. Because of the noise, I do not think the Prime Minister is hearing the questions because I do think that one was on house building.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

House building is at the lowest level for 75 years. A whole generation of people are desperate to get on the housing ladder. Thirteen years in power, and all the Prime Minister has to say to them is, “It’s somebody else’s fault—let me deflect.” No wonder they are furious with his Government.

It is not just bills or housing. Families are paying over £1,000 a month just to send their child to nursery. If the Prime Minister scrapped his non-dom status, he could start to fund better childcare, put money back into people’s pockets and get parents back to work. It seems a pretty simple choice to me. Which is he going to choose: wealthy tax avoiders or hard-working parents?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 22nd February 2023

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We come to the Leader of the Opposition.

Keir Starmer Portrait Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I join the Prime Minister in his comments on Ukraine. I had the privilege last week of seeing first-hand the courage and resilience of the Ukrainian people. We must continue to stand united in this House in support of Ukraine. The thoughts of the whole House, and I am sure the whole country, will also be with the family of Nicola Bulley at this very difficult time. I welcome my hon. Friend the Member for West Lancashire (Ashley Dalton) to her first PMQs.

The Labour party is proud to be the party of the Good Friday agreement and peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland. We welcome attempts to make the protocol work more effectively. Does the Prime Minister agree that it has been poorly implemented, and that the basis for any deal must be removing unnecessary checks on goods?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Lindsay Hoyle and Keir Starmer
Wednesday 1st February 2023

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

We now come to the Leader of the Opposition.