/PMQs LIVE: Absolutely wrong! Boris blasts back at Starmer in furious poverty row

PMQs LIVE: Absolutely wrong! Boris blasts back at Starmer in furious poverty row

The Labour Party leader is likely to quiz Boris Johnson over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, as the UK begins to ease restrictions across the country. Earlier this week, the government were forced into a U-turn which will now allow about 1.3m children in England to be able to claim free school meal vouchers in the summer holidays, after a campaign by footballer Marcus Rashford. Mr Johnson is likely to face a grilling over the issue, after Labour’s Sir Keir said the move was a “welcome U-turn”.

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The Prime Minister is likely also to face questions over Mr Johnson’s crunch meeting with EU chiefs – as the two sides plan to agree to an agreement in the coming months to avoid no deal.

Labour leader Sir Keir has also urged the Government to bring forward a rescue deal to save thousands of aviation jobs.

It comes as several major airlines have announced job cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Its likely Mr Johnson will also face questions about the state of the economy as the immediate impact of coronavirus lockdown became clear last week.

Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer

Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer to clash in the Commons (Image: getty)

UK GDP fell by a record 20.4 percent in April presenting huge warnings about future unemployment across Britain.

The 2-metre social distancing rule is also likely to be debated in the House of Commons – with the Prime Minister expected to face questions from his own party.

Mr Johnson has been pressed to relax the rule from 2-metres to lower – like other countries across Europe – to give the hospitality sector a chance to recover once coronavirus restrictions are relaxed.

PMQs LIVE UPDATES TO FOLLOW BELOW from midday:

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson in Prime Minister’s Questions (Image: sky)

12.29pm update: Boris turns tables on Lib Dems

Boris Johnson was urged to block out a “loophole” in “labelling legislation” which allows “beef from anywhere in the world to be labelled as British beef as long as it is packaged in this country.”

Alistair Carmichael said: “If the Prime Minister is serious about maintaining food standards…will he do something to close that loophole.”

Mr Johnson quickly replied: “Yes, Mr Speaker. I can only say it must be one of those things that is currently governed by the laws of the EU.

“To which he is bound to return an independent Scotland should that catastrophe ever arise.

“Mr Speaker, we on this side of the House want to take advantage of the freedoms we have won. And the freedoms the British people have decided to take back.

“To make sure Scottish beef farmers do have the protections they need.”

12.28pm update: Boris urged to support innovative solutions to tackle to coronavirus crisis

Prime Minister insisted he had used innovative solutions in dealing with rough sleeping while he was London Mayor.

He said: “We have made huge progress to tackle rough sleeping. It has got much much better.”

12.22pm update: Boris Johnson takes another swipe at Starmer

Prime Minister Boris Johnson describes the position of Keir Starmer on children going back to school as “wibble-wobble”.

12.19pm update: Ed Davey urges Boris to extend transition period

The Liberal Democrat politician urged the Prime Minister to extend the Brexit transition period.

Mr Davey urged to UK to show “common sense” and extend the deadline that was set before the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Johnson insisted the UK would not be extending the transition period with the EU.

12.17pm update: Ian Blackford attacks the Prime Minister

Ian Blackford demanded more from the government to help children in poverty across the UK.

The SNP’s Westminster leader said Marcus Rashford has shown more “moral leadership” than the government.

Mr Johnson insisted there will be tough times ahead but the government will do more where they can.

12.14pm update: Boris Johnson quizzed over UK’s fisheries

The Prime Minister was quizzed over the state of UK fisheries after the transition period ends with the EU.

Mr Johnson said: “We are going to become an independent coastal state.”

12.11pm update: Keir Starmer asks about funding for local government

The Labour Party leader quizzed Mr Johnson over funding for local government, specifically councils.

The Prime Minister shot back by repeatedly asking the Labour Party leader to say that schools were safe to return to for some students.

Sir Keir Starmer

Sir Keir Starmer quizzing Boris Johnson in Prime Minister’s Questions (Image: sky)

12.08pm update: Boris and Starmer engaged in blistering row

Boris fires back at Starmer over schools in England and whether they are “safe to go back to”.

The Labour Party leader raged: “This is turning into opposition questions. If he wants to swap places- I’ll do it now.”

12.06pm update: Labour leader continues to press the PM

Mr Starmer insisted he had just read the government reports findings which prompted a furious response from Mr Johnson.

The Prime Minister said: “The right honourable gentlemen is talking about what he calls an anticipated rise, rather than a rise that has actually taken place.

“A new concept is coming into our deliberations. What we are talking about is what has actually happened.

“A reduction in poverty. Of course, we are concerned about the impact of coronavirus on the UK economy.”

12.04pm update: Sir Keir Starmer quizzes Boris Johnson over poverty in the UK

Sir Keir Starmer quizzed the Prime Minister over child poverty in the UK.

He said: “A report last week from the Government Social Mobility Commission concluded that there are now 600,000 more children living in relative poverty that 2012.

“It went on to say child poverty rates are projected to increase to 5.2million by 2022 – what does the Prime Minister caused that?”

Mr Johnson replied: “On free school meals, this government is very proud…I am pleased we are going to be able to deliver a COVID-summer package.

“But I must say I think he is completely wrong in what he says about poverty. Absolute poverty, relative poverty have both declined under this government.”

12.02pm update: Boris warns those who vandalise memorials

Asked about vandalism on memorials across the country in recent protests, Mr Johnson delivered a warning.

The Prime Minister said: “Any incident of vandalism or attack on public property will be felt by the full force of the law”.

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