Parliamentarians will have something to discuss with Boris Johnson in the PMQs today (Wednesday May 18). It is the first session since Prince Charles delivered the Queen’s Speech last week, outlining the government’s program for the parliamentary session.
Some 38 bills were announced in the programme, including new Brexit, education and upgrading laws. But the speech was criticized by charities and opposition politicians, with Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey saying it ‘does nothing to help the millions of families and pensioners facing soaring bills and skyrocketing inflation.
And struggling households could be pushed deeper into poverty this morning, after the Office for National Statistics announced that inflation had jumped to 9% – the highest level in 40 years. The rise, which has risen by 7% since March, means the cost of living is rising even more and people’s money won’t travel as far.
READ MORE: Rishi Sunak says ‘we can’t fully protect people’ as inflation hits record high
The chancellor said in a statement that “we cannot fully protect people” from the rise, but the government “stands ready to take further action”. Rishi Sunak added: “We are saving the average worker £330 a year by cutting National Insurance contributions, changing Universal Credit to save over a million families around £1,000 a year and providing millions of families £350 each this year to help with their energy bills.
Today also marks the first session of PMQs since Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer vowed to ‘resign’ if fined by police over an allegation he broke coronavirus laws. Sir Starmer was filmed drinking a beer in an MP’s office after a day of campaigning for the local elections in Durham in April 2021.
At the time, Covid rules meant indoor gatherings were banned except for business purposes. The event is now under investigation by Durham Police. Sir Starmer has repeatedly denied breaking the rules and said: ‘I think trust is everything in politics.
The Labor leader previously grilled Boris Johnson, who received a fixed penalty notice from the Met Police, for attending a ‘surprise birthday party’ in Downing Street as the country faces tough restrictions on coronavirus in 2020. Up to 30 people are believed to have attended.
PMQs start at 12pm and we’ll have live updates as seen below…