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PMQs Live: Dominic Raab Faces Angela Rayner As Boris Johnson Attends Nato Summit

Daniel Kawczynski (Con) says many MPs see “disturbing deficiencies” in NHS management. This is particularly issue in Shrewsbury, he says. When will the extra money secured for the NHS in the county become available.

Raab says the local trust is due to present a business case for a new building next year.

Raab suggests government does not see need to include right to abortion in bill of rightsRosie Duffield (Lab) says so far 53 women have been killed in the UK this year. The rights of women are under threat. Will Raab back the amendment to the bill for rights enshrining the right to choose.

Raab says he has huge respect for Duffield for how she has stood up for women’s rights.

He says the position in UK law is fixed. He does not think there is a need for change.

(So that sounded like a no to the amendment.)

Patricia Gibson (SNP) lists Scotland’s resources. Does the government oppose Scottish indepenendence because it fears losing these assets?

Raab says Gibson is right to say Scotland has considerable strengths. That is why it wants the UK to stick together.

John Baron (Con) asks when the government will get bolder in cutting taxes. All the evidence shows that tax cuts raise living standards, he claims. He suggests HS2 should be abolished.

Raab says the government has policies to promote economic growth.

Neale Hanvey (Alba) says any union that involves pooling sovereignty can only be sustained with the consent of the PM. He seems to be quoting the PM, and asks Raab if he agrees.

Raab says the government thinks it is not time for a referendum.

Ian Blackford, the SNP leader at Westminster, says Nicola Sturgeon has set the date and started the campaign for the independence referendum. It will take place on 19 October 2022, he says. The SNP will make the positive case for independence. Will the opposition to it make the case for continuing Westminster rule.

Raab says this is not the time for another independence referendum.

Blackford says there is no case for the union. The Tories do not have the right to block Scottish democracy. He quotes Canon Kenyon Wright’s response to what should happen if London says: “We say no, and we are the state”. His answer: “We say yes, and we are the people.” (Nicola Sturgeon quoted this too in her statement to MSPs yesterday.)

Raab attacks the SNP government’s record on matters like education and drugs.

Rayner urges Raab to ‘grow a backbone’ and tell Johnson to quitRayner says Raab was on a sun lounger when the UK was evacuating people from Afghanistan. She won’t take lectures form him on doing her job. How many more manifesto pledges will be broken before Johnson goes. When will Raab grow a backbone and tell the PM its time to go.

Raab accuses Rayner of auditing for a leadership contest on the Labour side, rather than addressing the government’s problems.

Labour is not fit to govern, he says.

Rayner starts to respond by the Tory barracking gets particularly loud. Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker, tells Tory MPs to be quiet. Rayner says is it ironic they are making so much noise having legislated to ban noisy protests.

She says the UK will have fewer troops, fewer planes and fewer ships under this government. How many troops will lose their jobs before Raab says enough is enough.

Raab says the UK is the largest military spender in Europe. Rayner voted against Trident, he says. And she campaigned for Jeremy Corbyn, who would have taken the UK out of Nato.

Rayner criticises Raab for the amount he spent on private jets (presumably as foreign secretary). How much more can taxes go up?

Raab says, if Labour wants to help working people, it should oppose the RMT strikes.

He says Rayner, who is normally a straight-talking politicians, has flip-flopped on this. He says she left an interview rather than answer a question about her support for the RMT. And last Thursday she want to Glyndebourne on strike day. Champagne socialism is back, he says.

Rayner says the tax burden is going up. How high should it go before Raab says enough is enough?

Raab claims the government is helping working people. He quotes some of the measures recently introduced. The government has a plan for a high-wage, low-unemployment economy. With Labour, it is back to zero.

Rayner says she wants Starmer to be PM. “And it could not come quick enough.”

Raab says Starmer has no plan for government. Yesterday he said he was wiping the slate clean. And he says Tony Blair said there was a “gaping hole” in Labour’s agenda.

He claims Rayner is revelling in Starmer’s discomfort.

Angela Rayner also pays tribute to Dame Deborah James. She saved the lives of many people, she says.

She congratulates the two MPs who won byelections last week.

It was the first time in three decades a government lost two byelections in a day. It is now wonder the PM “has fled the country”. He is “not just losing the room, he is losing the country”.

But he wants to stay in office until the 2030s. Will the cabinet prop him up that long?

Raab says the cabinet want the PM to stay for longer than Rayner wants Starmer to stay.

The government has a majority of 75, he says.

The government will protect the public from damaging rail strikes. Labour frontbenchers are joining the picket lines.

Andrew Jones (Con) asks about access to work, the scheme that helps disabled people get into work.

Raab says the DWP is committed to improving awareness of the employability of disabled people.

Dominic Raab starts by explaining that Boris Johnson is at the Nato summit.

He starts with a tribute to Dame Deborah James, and says he lost his own father to cancer at a young age.

PMQsPMQs is about to start. Boris Johnson is in Madrid for the Nato summit, and so today Dominic Raab, the deputy PM, is standing in for him. Angela Rayner, the deputy Labour leader, will be deputising for Keir Starmer.

PMQs Photograph: HoCLevel of benefit cap may be reviewed because of inflation, Coffey tells MPsThe government might review the benefit cap between now and April next year in light of the cost-of-living crisis, Thérése Coffey, the work and pensions seceretary has told MPs. PA Media reports:

Asked by the work and pensions committee if the level of the cap might change in light of “rapidly rising costs”, the minister said: “We do have this statutory duty – I think I’ve had some advice because now we no longer have the Fixed-term Parliaments Act on exact timing – I’m slightly concerned as to whether we have a real reflection of life, but I’m getting some advice on that.”

Asked again if the government might review the cap, Coffey replied: “Yes, we may. I just want to make sure it’s as normal a landscape as possible.”

More than 120,000 households are already affected by the benefit cap, which was introduced in April 2013 and limits how much individuals, couples and families can claim.

It was initially set at £26,000 per year, and £18,200 per year for single adults with no children, but reduced to £20,000/£13,400 nationally, and £23,000/£15,410 in Greater London, which is where it remains.

A further 35,000 people are expected to fall into the bracket this year, leading campaigners to call on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to abolish it.

Keir Starmer has confirmed that Labour frontbenchers and PPSs who joined RMT picket lines last week are not being sacked, the Telegraph’s Jack Maidment reports.

Confirmation from Sir Keir Starmer that the Labour frontbench rail strike rebels have been given a slap on the wrist and nothing more for joining picket lines.

“The Chief Whip has now dealt with those that didn’t follow the advice and that is a perfectly satisfactory outcome.”

— Jack Maidment (@jrmaidment) June 29, 2022 As my colleague Heather Stewart reported yesterday, the five Labour MPs who ignored an order to avoid the picket lines are just getting a warning.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the international trade secretary, was due to give evidence to the international trade select committee this monring about the free trade deal with Australia. But she pulled out of the hearing at the last minute, saying she had to prepare for the statement she is making to MPs about steel tariffs.

Angus Brendan MacNeil (SNP), the committee chair, said his committee was “unanimous” in its “disappointment” and felt it set “a very worrying precedent” for “the way the government is dealing with scrutiny of the free trade agreements”. He added:

We feel that this is a disrespect to the committee. We are very disappointed.

A spokesperson for the international trade department said:

The international trade secretary is in the process of finalising a finely balanced decision on the steel safeguard by June 30. This is an issue of national strategic importance and she has had to make sure she is able to review the final advice from the department before updating parliament today.

There are two Commons statements today after PMQs.

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