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Prime Minister's Questions: 4 March 2020

3 March 2020


During PMQs today MPs questioned the Prime Minister about sick pay for victims of coronavirus, the bullying allegations levelled against the Home Secretary, policing and the peace process in Afghanistan.

Questions from the Leader of the Opposition

The Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, asked about the impact of the coronavirus on the NHS and policing, statutory sick pay for coronavirus victims on low pay or benefits, and allegations of bullying against the Home Secretary.

Mr Corbyn asked the Prime Minister:

  • what extra funding the "struggling" NHS will receive to cope with the coronavirus "after a decade of Tory austerity"
  • if it is true that as a result of coronavirus, 999 response times will have to be extended and that some murder investigations may be suspended
  • what support there will be for benefit claimants who face sanctions if they miss job centre appointments and for the two million workers on low-pay who will not qualify for the statutory sick pay if they fall ill with coronavirus
  • if he will commit to an external investigation into the allegations of bullying by the Home Secretary's led by an independent lawyer and when the findings will be published
  • if the Prime Minister was aware of allegations that the Home Secretary bullied staff in her previous roles in the Cabinet and, if so, why he hired her
  • if he was "completely unaware" of the allegations towards the Home Secretary. Mr Corbyn said the Prime Minister was "determined to cover up for bullies".

Questions from the Scottish National Party's Westminster Leader

The Scottish National Party's Westminster Leader, Ian Blackford, asked about support for workers having to self-isolate because of coronavirus and statutory sick pay for those on Universal Credit.

Mr Blackford asked the Prime Minister:

  • what support would be given to coronavirus sufferers who need to take time off work, but cannot receive statutory sick pay on Universal Credit
  • if statutory pay will be paid at the real living wage, and if emergency legislation will be passed to support business and staff who need to self-isolate.

Full list of topics and questioners

  • Conservative MP, Richard Graham (Gloucester), asked about plans for businesses suffering from losses due to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Conservative MP, Claire Coutinho (East Surrey), asked about plans to lower carbon emissions.
  • Conservative MP, Steve Double (St Austell and Newquay), asked about lithium deposits found in Cornwall
  • Green MP, Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion), asked how many of the Government's national policy statements have been assessed against the Paris Climate Agreement and if the Prime Minister will review or revise all those that have not.
  • Conservative MP, Shaun Bailey (West Bromwich West), asked about policing in the West Midlands. 
  • Labour MP, Charlotte Nichols (Warrington North), asked for a sentencing review for criminals convicted of sexual assault.
  • Conservative MP, Ian Levy (Blyth Valley), asked if Blyth Valley would be given investment.
  • Labour MP, Ian Mearns (Gateshead), asked when the Government would solve the problem of people having to wait five weeks to receive Universal Credit, meaning they cannot pay for social housing rent.
  • Conservative MP, Peter Bone (Wellingborough), asked about the Prime Minister's visit to Kettering Hospital
  • Labour MP Matthew Pennycook (Greenwich and Woolwich), asked whether the Government would remove the Home Secretary from office if the investigation into her conduct found she had contravened the Ministerial Code.
  • Conservative MP, Theo Clarke (Stafford), asked if the A&E unit at County Hospital will remain open.
  • Labour MP, Thangam Debbonaire (Bristol West), asked about reports of civil servants being fired and bullied in Government departments.
  • Conservative MP, Nusrat Ghani (Wealden) asked about the peace process in Afghanistan.
  • SNP MP, Carol Monaghan (Glasgow North West), asked about plans to stop the spread of coronavirus amongst MPs.
  • Conservative MP, Alun Cairns (Vale of Glamorgan), asked about justice for the deaths of constituents at a hotel in Mallorca.
  • Labour MP, Taiwo Owatemi (Coventry North West), asked whether her constituency would receive more police officers to deal with recent stabbings.
  • Conservative MP, Paul Maynard (Blackpool North and Cleveleys), asked about UK airlines having to fly half-empty planes so that they do not miss landing slots.
  • Labour MP, Liz Kendall (Leicester West), asked about care workers under the Government's new immigration system.
  • Conservative MP, Sir John Hayes (South Holland and The Deepings) asked about early release legislation.
  • DUP MP, Sir Jeffrey M Donaldson (Lagan Valley), asked whether British businesses will maintain unfettered access to the Northern Ireland market.

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What is PMQs?

What is PMQs?

Prime Minister's Question Time, also referred to as PMQs, takes place every Wednesday that the House of Commons is sitting and gives MPs the chance to put questions to the Prime Minister.

Find out more