New Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has faced Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for the first time in PMQs.
Starmer quizzed him on reappointing Suella Braverman, his wife’s tax history and whether he would call a general election. The new PM refused to answer whether No10 officials raised concerns around the Home Secretary’s recall, just days after she resigned for breaching the ministerial code. In a question from SNP leader Ian Blackford, Sunak also would not commit to raising benefits in line with inflation.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s planned Halloween budget to get the public finances back on track has been delayed until next month, Downing Street has said. The medium term fiscal plan will now be published on 17 November as an autumn statement – alongside a new set of economic forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility.
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PMQs live: Sunak v Starmer
Rishi Sunak will face his first Commons appearance as Prime Minister on Wednesday as he begins the task of uniting his party and restoring the UK’s economic credibility, my colleague Claire Schofield reports.
The new PM will square off against Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer later, fresh from appointing a new Cabinet that saw him cull nearly a dozen of Liz Truss’s top-tier ministers, including Jacob Rees-Mogg. Sunak also revived the careers of several MPs after bringing back Suella Braverman, Dominic Raab and Michael Gove.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and US President Joe Biden were among the first world leaders Sunak spoke to on Tuesday evening after he was officially appointed PM, telling Zelensky that the UK’s support for the war-torn country would be as “strong as ever under his premiership”.
Prime Minister’s Questions will take place at its usual time of midday (12pm), with the session lasting for about half an hour.
Expect Sir Keir Stamer to ask about Suella Braverman returning as Home Secretary, just days after resigning for breaching the ministerial code.
You can watch PMQs in full on this page, or via a live stream on NationalWorldTV.
The new Prime Minister has been accused of being slightly stilted when it comes to public speaking, so it will be interesting to see how he gets on at PMQs today.
A bizarre incident from his time as Chancellor, was when he appeared to not know how to use a contactless card during a publicity stunt.
Watch the clip below or on our sister site LondonWorld.
The planned autumn fiscal statement on 31 October will be delayed to 17 November, Downing Street has confirmed.
According to a Cabinet readout: “The Chancellor updated the Cabinet on the timing of the fiscal event. The Prime Minister and the Chancellor agreed that the fiscal event would now take place on the 17 November, and would be an Autumn Statement.
“He said it is important to reach the right decisions and there is time for those decisions to be confirmed with Cabinet. The Autumn Statement will set out how we will put public finances on a sustainable footing and get debt falling in the medium term and will be accompanied by a full forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility”.
Rishi Sunak is facing calls for an official inquiry into Suella Braverman after he reappointed the Home Secretary six days after she was sacked for a security breach.
Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats raised “national security” concerns and demanded a Cabinet Office investigation on Wednesday after the new Prime Minister brought her back.
Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, the most senior civil servant, is “livid” over her swift return and “very concerned” about the breach, a source told the Times.
Liz Truss forced Braverman out after she breached the ministerial code by sending an official document to a Tory backbencher from a personal email.
Braverman, who had been in the role six weeks, said she made a “mistake” which she conceded was a “technical infringement” of the rules.
But questions remain about why she sent the document to fellow right-winger Sir John Hayes and how she accidentally copied in an aide to another MP, who sounded the alarm.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper wrote to Case demanding an investigation “into the extent of this and other possible security breaches”.
“Given the Prime Minister’s decision to reappoint her to the Cabinet post overseeing national security, it is vital for the public to have transparency on what occurred,” she wrote.
“It must include the extent of the Home Secretary’s use of private email accounts to circulate Government papers and the extent to which official documents have been sent outside Government, as well as any other concerns that have been raised about possible serious information and security breaches by Suella Braverman.”
The Lib Dems also demanded an investigation into Mr Sunak’s decision to reappoint her “including any promises Sunak made to her behind closed doors”.
Home affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael said: “If it is confirmed that Suella Braverman repeatedly broke the ministerial code and threatened national security, she must be sacked.
“A Home Secretary who broke the rules is not fit for a Home Office which keeps the rules.”
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the Home Secretary has apologised for the “mistake” as he defended her reinstatement.
Labour has been granted an Urgent Question on Suella Braverman straight after PMQs, Sky’s Beth Rigby is reporting.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has asked Braverman to make a statement on her resignation and reappointment.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has come under fire for suggesting that LGBT football fans heading to the World Cup in Qatar should be “respectful of the host nation”.
It came after veteran campaigner Peter Tatchell said he was arrested after staging the first LGBT protest in the country to highlight its human rights abuses in the run-up to the sporting event.
Mr Cleverly urged fans to show “a little bit of flex and compromise” and to “respect the culture of your host nation”.
But Mr Tatchell hit back at the remarks, saying the Foreign Secretary should instead “highlight the abuses being carried out by the regime”.
Going to the World Cup, as Mr Cleverly has said he will, is “colluding with a homophobic, sexist and racist regime”, the activist said.
Critics also described the Cabinet minister’s comments as “abhorrent” and “shockingly tone deaf”.
Mr Cleverly told LBC radio: “I haven’t spoken with the government of Qatar in direct response to Peter Tatchell, but my understanding is that he was questioned, that he was supported by the FCDO’s consular team.
“I have spoken to the Qatari authorities in the past about gay football fans going to watch the World Cup and how they will treat our fans and international fans.
“They want to make sure that football fans are safe, secure and enjoy themselves, and they know that that means they are going to have to make some compromises in terms of what is an Islamic country with a very different set of cultural norms to our own.
“One of the things I would say for football fans is, you know, please do be respectful of the host nation.
“They are trying to ensure that people can be themselves and enjoy the football, and I think with a little bit of flex and compromise at both ends, it can be a safe, secure and exciting World Cup.”
He also told Sky News that the UK has “incredibly important partners in the Middle East”.
Rishi Sunak has started PMQs, a reminder you can watch it live on NationalWorld TV here.
The new Prime Minister was cheered by Conservative MPs as he arrived in the House of Commons.
Sir Keir Starmer starts by welcoming Sunak as the first south Asian and saying “Britain is a place of all races and all beliefs can fulfill their dreams”.
He goes straight in on Suella Braverman, and asks: “Was his Home Secretary right to resign last week?”
Sunak said: “She made an error of judgement, but she recognised that and resigned.” He added that he was “delighted” to welcome her to the Cabinet.