PMQs summary (Wed 27th Feb, 2019)
Who won PMQs today is not an easy question to answer, as much of the pent up energy regarding Brexit was spent yesterday during Theresa May's statement to the House. On this occasion, many of the questions instead focused on the Conservative governments’ macroeconomic record since taking office in 2010.
The session began on both sides of the House with an acknowledgment of the military escalation taking place between India and Pakistan. The prime minister urged the two countries to engage in dialogue and to arrive at a peaceful, diplomatic resolution.
After telling the House that an urgent question on India and Pakistan would be raised in a later session, Corbyn began by referencing the Bank of England’s post-Brexit economic forecast which predicts lower than expected growth in the UK – a fact he suggests can be attributed to May’s “shambolic” handling of Brexit.
Corbyn also went on to mention that poverty in the UK is rising, with increasing numbers having to rely on foodbanks, many people’s wages decreasing and a widening income gap between the top and lowest fifths of income-earners.
In response to these claims, May said that many millions more are employed now than in 2010, that income inequality has in fact decreased over the last decade and that the national minimum wage, introduced by the Conservative government, has seen low-earners experience the fastest growth in wages in two decades.
She also pointed out that the deficit has been cut, meaning the country’s finances are in healthier shape and can therefore afford to end austerity. She attributed all of these promising figures to the Conservative method of governing. The contrary, she claimed, is a Labour government, who would bring many billions more in debt, a ruined pound and capital flight.
Worth mentioning also is the fact that many in the House appeared dissatisfied with May’s attempt at compromise yesterday, with a number of MPs, notably Ian Blackford, regarding her offering yesterday as a “false choice” between a “bad deal and no deal at all.”
To see other questions that featured in this session, see our Twitter thread.