News | Published June 19 2019

PMQs summary (19 Jun, 2019)

PMQs this week saw discussion centred around Grenfell and fire safety.

The topic came up due to it being nearly two years since the disaster occurred. Both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn commended the energy of Grenfell activists still pursuing remedial action and justice.

The debate that ensued was over whether the government has done enough to reduce the likelihood of another event like this happening again. Corbyn claimed that the government has been too relaxed about the pace of remedial action. May, however, claimed that government's responses to the disaster have been as quick as possible, citing the immediate inquiry into the Grenfell tragedy as well as the emergency funding which continues to pay for all related recompense and safety measures.

Corbyn responded to this by saying that the government has not set a decisive deadline by which proprietors must remove dangerous cladding and retrofit sprinklers. The result, he added, was that thousands of people's lives are at risk across the country. May agreed that a deadline was necessary, but noted that sprinklers were merely a suggestion from the inquiry, not a mandate. Corbyn regarded the latter point as semantic play.

Away from the from the ministerial benches, another event of note took place. Ian Blackford asked if the prime minister agreed with her likely successor, Boris, that the Scottish were a "verminous race" in need of "extermination" (in reference to a satirical poem he allowed to be published in the early 2000s). Consequently, he said that Boris was racist and "unfit for office". John Bercow objected to this statement and asked Blackford to withdraw his statement, to which Blackford in turn paid little attention.

To see the rest of what happened in this session, see our live Twitter thread coverage here.

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The Parliamentary Review

June 19 2019

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