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Prime Minister's Questions: 15 January 2020

15 January 2020


In PMQs this week MPs asked the Prime Minister about plans for the steel industry, roll-out of broadband and phone networks in rural areas, reforming the Apprenticeship Levy and more.

Questions from the Leader of the Opposition

The Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, began by voicing his pleasure at the return of the Northern Ireland Assembly and "hopefully the restoration of the peace process".

His following questions focused mostly on NHS funding and waiting times, as well as social care.  

Mr Corbyn asked the Prime Minister:

  • why "after almost 10 years of Tory government" waiting times for GP appointments and A&E treatment are getting longer.
  • how many patients will be affected by delays to treatment.
  • what plans were to reduce growing waiting times for cancer treatment, with 1 in 4 cancer patients waiting more than two months for treatment.
  • why the Government's proposals for the NHS amount to an "inadequacy of funding", stating that "health professionals have said that the NHS needs more money than the Government are saying".  
  • what the Prime Minister's plans for the growing social care crisis are.

Questions from the Scottish National Party's Westminster Leader

The SNP's Westminster Leader, Ian Blackford MP, also began by congratulating the Northern Ireland Executive.

His subsequent questions centred around Scottish independence, Brexit and a potential deal with President Trump.

Mr Blackford asked the Prime Minister:

  • whether he accepted that his letter to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon rejecting an independence referendum was "strengthening the case for Scottish independence".
  • whether the NHS and the Iran nuclear deal have been discussed in the context of a deal with President Trump.
  • if the Prime Minister would back an SNP proposal for an NHS protection Bill.

Leader Full list of topics and questioners

  • Labour MP, Gill Furniss (Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough), asked when the Government will bring forward a comprehensive plan for the steel industry. 
  • Conservative MP, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds), asked about roll-out of broadband and phone signals for rural areas in the UK, and if a timetable can be set for the roll-out.
  • Conservative MP, Robert Halfon (Harlow), asked about reforming the Apprenticeship Levy to ensure that white working-class boys climb the skills ladder of opportunity.
  • Conservative MP, Andrew Griffith (Arundel and South Downs), asked about rural residents in West Sussex having access to minimum broadband speeds.
  • Labour MP, Clive Efford (Eltham), asked about legally enforceable targets for the environment and giving the new office for environmental protection powers to fine the Government if they are not reached.
  • Conservative MP, Sir David Amess (Southend West), asked the Prime Minister to join him in thanking the religious orders of Nazareth House and questioned when Southend would become a city.
  • Labour MP, Debbie Abrahams (Oldham East and Saddleworth), asked the Prime Minister whether he will commit to supporting Alzheimer's research report recommendations, to find new cures and treatments for all forms of dementia and whether he will support the Alzheimer's society's call to fix dementia care as a matter of urgency.
  • Conservative MP, Sir Desmond Swayne (New Forest West), asked the Prime Minister what plans he has to reform the relationship between the legislature, executive and the judiciary.
  • Labour MP, Sarah Jones (Croydon Central), asked whether the Prime Minister supports the investigation of outstanding claims from the conflict in Northern Ireland.
  • Conservative MP, Craig Tracey (North Warwickshire), asked the Prime Minister to thank staff at the George Eliot hospital. He also asked for an update on the NHS workforce plan.
  • Liberal Democrat MP, Wera Hobhouse (Bath), asked about the Government's plans to address human rights abuses by Turkish forces against Kurdish civilians.
  • Conservative MP, Andrew Rosindell (Romford), asked about the Government's plans for animal welfare.
  • Labour MP, Alex Cunningham (Stockton North), asked if the Prime Minister would support Tees MPs and the Mayor in opposing the dumping of nuclear waste at Port Clarence.
  • Conservative MP, Mrs Helen Grant (Maidstone and The Weald), asked for an update on the Government's plans for next week's UK-African investment summit.
  • SNP MP, Douglas Chapman (Dunfermline and West Fife), asked about the end of the Erasmus scheme.
  • Conservative MP, Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole), asked if the Government will commit to stamping out antisemitism.
  • SNP MP, Dave Doogan (Angus), asked for a review of the temporary visa scheme for agricultural workers.
  • Conservative MP, Mrs Maria Miller (Basingstoke), asked if the Government will make the online sexual abuse of children a priority.
  • Liberal Democrat MP,Sir Edward Davey (Kingston and Surbiton), asked for a review of the bereavement support payment and for if the Prime Minister would meet him and charities to discuss better support.

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Image: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor