PMQs getting underway

Starmer: "Trust matters and after the last fortnight the PM has a lot of work to do. A central plank of this govt's promise was a cross rail for the North. With an entirely new line between Manchester to Leeds...will he stick with that promise, yes or no?"
PM: "He should wait and see what is going to be announced tomorrow.Because we'll produce a fantastic integrated rail plan...people will see what we're doing to cut journey times in the North East, North West and the Midlands."

Starmer: "That was a lot of words but wasn't a yes."
Starmer on Owen Paterson: "The Business Secretary has apologised for his part, the Leader of the House has apologised for this part, but they were following the PM's lead- so will he do the decent thing and just say sorry for trying to give the green light to corruption?"
PM says that "it was a mistake to conflate the case of an individual member no matter how sad with the principle at stake" but does not apologise.

Starmer: "That's not an apology- everyone else has apologised for him but he won't apologise for himself. A coward not a leader."
Notable how much Labour (and Starmer in particular) have intensified their language in the last few weeks. Stopped talking about "sleaze" and started to talk about corruption, calling PM a coward etc.
Again Starmer making very personal attacks on the Prime Minister's own integrity: "I'd remind the PM when I was Director of Public Prosecutions I prosecuted MPs who broke the rules. He has been investigated by every organisation he's ever been elected to. That's the difference."
Starmer: "The Prime Minister somehow expects us to believe that he's the man to clean up Westminster. He led his troops through the sewers to cover up corruption. And the truth is he can't even bring himself to say sorry."
PM then accuses Starmer of "Mischonduct" (a not so subtle reference to Mishcon de Reya). Speaker again ticks him off.
.@Ianblackford_MP says the Tory benches are thinly attended today

SNP MP hollers: "Because they've all got second jobs!"
Ouch. from Conservative MP Jake Berry: "In July 2019 I was in Manchester when the PM committed to building a new line between Manchester and Leeds, a commitment reaffirmed in our manifesto and in conference speech...were the voters of the North right to take the PM at his word?"
PMQs takeaways

1) Tory benches pretty sparse. Relations between No 10 and parliamentary party arctic.
2) Relations between Speaker and PM subarctic.
3) Labour really think they finally have a hook into Boris Johnson. Language on alleged corruption/PM's character intensifying.
Also 4) one to watch out for tomorrow- potential for further deep Tory unhappiness (esp from 2019ers)/Labour attack avenue on promises over rail in the North, especially Northern Powerhouse Rail. Notable Starmer tried to link over trust in PM.

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More from @lewis_goodall

17 Nov
Focus today was on Parliament. But as was just explaining on Newsnight just as important were the government’s announcements on the social care plan which were quietly unveiled as the PM was at the liaison committee....
There were two bits to the PM’s announcement back in September 1) a cap of £86k on lifetime care costs (though not complete as doesn’t include bed and board for care homes) and 2) the means test which helps households with less than £100k in assets pay for weekly costs.
What the government announced today was that those two things won’t intersect. Ie that the means test payments will not count towards reaching the £86k cap- only payments an individual makes themselves will.
Read 12 tweets
17 Nov
Mr Speaker chastises the Prime Minister for the second time for trying to ask Starmer questions: "Prime Minister, I've made it very clear it's PMQs, not for the Opposition to answer your Qs- those are the rules of the game we're all in to, and we play by the rules don't we?"
"And we respect this House, so let's respect this House."
Prime Minister attempts to ask Starmer a third question about payments he received for legal advice when an MP.

Speaker forces the PM to retake his seat: "Prime Minister- SIT DOWN. I'm not going to be challenged, you may be the Prime Minister but in this House, I'm in charge."
Read 5 tweets
16 Nov
This drops from PM proposing MPs are banned from acting as paid political consultants (funnily enough) just as Keir Starmer starts his speech proposing the same (among other things).
Will be much focus on timing. Greater focus should be on the journey the PM has been on. In just a fortnight we've gone from govt whipping its MPs to suspend rules to protect an MP who had a job as a paid political consultant to proposing to ban them.
Starmer saying that it's about more than just banning MP being political consultants- they have a 5 point plan to clean up politics more widely.

Says he'll await to see the detail of what PM is proposing on consultancies before making judgment.
Read 5 tweets
15 Nov
Urgent Question granted in the Lords about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. Government will have to answer what action they are taking to secure her release and return to the UK.

Will be at 1515.
Question secured by Lord Foulkes.
Lord Foulkes: "Will the minister now confirm that there is no doubt whatsoever that the UK government owes the Iranian government £400m for tanks the Iranian govt paid for but were never supplied? Second that the PM when Foreign Sec said that that debt would be paid?"
Read 15 tweets
15 Nov
NEW: NATO Sec General @jensstoltenberg warns that “large and unusual concentrations of Russian forces are close to Ukraine’s borders.” Says that “any further provocation or aggressive actions by Russia would be of serious concern.”
Stoltenberg calls on Russia to “avoid any miscalculation.” Says that “NATO remains vigilant and we are monitoring this situation closely.”
Stoltenberg says de-escalation is essential. Says there much is going on in Eastern Europe about which NATO is concerned- the migrant situation in Belarus, Russian troop build up in Ukraine and political situation in the Balkans.
Read 5 tweets
12 Nov
👇👇👇 Steve Bannon charged with two counts of contempt of Congress after refusing to testify and comply with subpoenas issued by the House committee investigating the Jan 6th attack on the Capitol.
The Justice Department has said that Bannon is expected to turn himself in to authorities on Monday and would then be court later that day.
One count refers to Bannon’s refusal to appear for a deposition and the second is for his refusal to produce documents for the committee.
Read 4 tweets

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