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PMQs Live – Watch as Boris Johnson is quizzed on Brexit and coronavirus tests in first Angela Rayner face-off

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BORIS Johnson is facing off against Angela Rayner at Prime Minister’s Questions today amid the ongoing Brexit bill row. 

Labour’s deputy leader is standing for Keir Starmer as he quarantines after one of his household developed coronavirus symptoms this week.

Follow our Prime Minister’s Questions live blog…

PMQs WRAPS UP

That’s all for this week – thanks for joining us!

AVERAGE DISTANCE TO TEST IS DOWN, CLAIMS PM

The average distance Brits have had to travel to get a coronavirus test has fall from six to seven miles to five miles, the PM claims.

That comes after early reports that some people were asked to drive over 100 miles to get tested.

CALL FOR FURLOUGH EXTENSION

The PM responds to a call from Labour MP Rachael Maskell for a ‘targeted’ extension of the furlough scheme.

“We need to get people off furlough and into work,” he says.

“That’s why we’ve got the £2billion kick start fund, in particular to help young people into work.

“That’s why we’ve got the job retention bonus, to encourage employers to take people back on, to continue employ people.”

GOVERNMENT WILL ‘PUT ITS ARMS ROUND’ THOSE IN NEED

PM is asked about figures suggesting that six emergency food parcels will be given out every minute this winter.

He cites a £9billion investment in universal credit to support low-income families and says the chancellor is committed to helping them through the coming economic downturn.

DAVEY MAKES FIRST APPEARANCE AS LIB DEM LEADER

Sir Ed Davey makes his first appearance at PMQs as Lib Dem, telling the prime minister that disabled people have suffered under laws brought in to address the coronavirus pandemic.

The PM says he isn’t aware of the claims and that he will respond later.

‘WE ALL KNOW WHAT TORY BACK BENCHERS ARE SAYING’

Blackford says we “all know what the Tory back benchers are saying behind closed doors.”

“The prime minister’s incompetent, he can’t govern, aren’t they want him away before the next election,” he said.

PM GRILLED OVER DEVOULTION

SNP leader asks the PM about previous comments that devolution is an ‘unjust’ project.

Johnson responds by encouraging the SNP to support the UK’s internal market by backing the Internal Market Bill.

GOVERNMENT PRIORITISING GROUSE SHOOTING, SAYS RAYNER

Rayner accuses the government of prioritising grouse shooting over more important activities when designing lockdown measures.

It emerged this week that grouse shooting would be exempted from current restrictions.

The PM responds that the issue is ‘tangential’.

RAYNER TAKES DIG AT CUMMINGS

Rayner takes a dig at the prime minister’s advisor, Dominic Cummings.

Cummings was at the centre of a political storm earlier this year after it emerged he had breached lockdown rules by driving with his family from London to a family home in Durham.

“The next time a man drives from London to Durham, it’ll probably be for the nearest Covid test!” Rayner said.

The comment followed reports that some people have been asked to drive over 100 miles to get tested for the coronavirus.

500,00 TESTS PER DAY BY END OF OCTOBER, SAYS PM

The PM replies to questions about current testing rates by saying the government intends to see 500,000 tests being done per day by the end of October.

‘GET SOME SKATES ON IT!’

Rayner tells Boris Johnson to “get some skates on it” after the PM pledged to improve current testing rates, particularly for staff and residents of care homes.

“Get some skates on it!” she said.

“Those care workers are still not getting the PPE they need.

“They’re still not getting the testing they need.”

WHERE IS HE?

Boris Johnson has opened PMQs asking why his opposite number Sir Keir Starmer isn’t attending the session.

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner is today standing in for Starmer, who has now emerged after spending this week in self-isolation.

“Where is he?” asks the PM.

ANGELA READS MESSAGE FROM ‘MAN CALLED KEIR’

Angela Rayner opens PMQs with letter from ‘Keir’, a man who couldn’t go to work today because of coronavirus in his household.

Rayner is deputising for Sir Keir Starmer today after a member of his household showed coronavirus symptoms.

“I have a message from a man called Keir,” she says.

“Keir was able to do the right thing and self isolate and work from home.

“But many aren’t in this position.”

PM MARKS MAYFLOWER ANNIVERSARY

Boris Johnson has opened PMQs making the anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, the English ship that in 1620 transported the first English Puritans known today as the Pilgrims from England to the modern day US.

STARMER OUT OF ISOLATION

Keir Starmer has said he is now out of self-isolation.

The Labour leader began quarantining with his household last week after one of his children showed symptoms of the coronavirus.

Tweeting this morning, Starmer said: “I’m very pleased and relieved that the test result for one of my children came back negative this morning.

“Thank you to the NHS hospital where my wife works for ensuring that their staff and family members have quick access to a test.”

Deputy Angela Rayner will still stand in at PMQs.

PRIME MINISTER TO FACE COMMONS AMID BREXIT BILL ROW

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing to appear at PMQs amid the ongoing row over the Internal Market Bill.

The government announced the bill last week, saying it preempted threats from the EU to block food imports.

The bill provoked criticism from opposition parties as well as MPs on the government’s own back benches.

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