Prime Minister's Questions: 6 May 2020
6 May 2020
During PMQs today MPs questioned the Prime Minister about the UK's coronavirus death toll, falling testing figures, PPE shortages, the relaxation of lockdown restrictions and more.
Questions from the Leader of the Opposition
The Leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer asked about the UK's death toll from Covid-19 being the highest in Europe, deaths in from the virus in care homes, shortages of PPE for frontline staff, testing figures and lockdown easing measures.
Mr Starmer asked the Prime Minister:
- "how it has come to this", referencing the Prime Minister's comments that the UK's coronavirus strategy had been an "apparent success" despite reports that UK now has the highest number of deaths from coronavirus in Europe and the second highest number of deaths from the virus in the world. The Labour Leader said that the UK had been "slow into lockdown, slow on testing, slow on tracing and slow on the supply of protective equipment".
- why the Government hasn't "got to grips" with the crisis in care homes, with reports that death rates are still rising in the care sector.
- why numbers of tests have fallen since last week, when the Government reported that 100,000 tests had been carried out. Mr Starmer asked what was "so special" about that day.
- why were efforts to introduce contact tracing "abandoned" in mid-March and not restarted soon.
- why doctors are having to buy their own PPE or rely on donations. Mr Starmer asked the Prime Minister if there would be a "robust national plan" to source protective equipment for people going back to work when the lockdown measures are eased.
- if he will come to the House of Commons on Monday to take questions about his plan to ease lockdown measures (which is expected to be published on Sunday).
Questions from the Scottish National Party's Westminster Leader
The Scottish National Party's Westminster Leader, Ian Blackford, asked about plans to ease the lockdown and support from the devolved nations.
Mr Blackford asked the Prime Minister:
- if he will follow the "best scientific advice" when easing the lockdown. Mr Blackford spoke of his worries that non-essential travel to tourist areas may rise, and highlighted the fact that the UK has the highest Covid-19 death toll in Europe.
- if the substance of the Prime Minister's address on easing the lockdown with be agreed with the "full input and cooperation" of the devolved nations. Mr Blackford criticised the Scottish Secretary, who he said had been politicising the issue.
Full list of topics and questioners
- Conservative MP, Simon Jupp (East Devon) asked about financial support for his constituency's tourism industry.
- Conservative MP, Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet) asked about increasing public transport capacity in London.
- Conservative MP, Andrew Bowie (West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine) asked about a deal for the oil and gas sector.
- Labour MP, Mike Amesbury (Weaver Vale) asked about lack of funding for local governments.
- Conservative MP, Rehman Chishti (Gillingham and Rainham) asked about social distancing rules for burials and cremations.
- Labour MP, Justin Madders (Ellesmere Port and Neston) asked about reports that the Chancellor may "wind down" the furlough scheme in June.
- Conservative MP, Ben Bradley (Mansfield) asked about retraining for those who have lost their jobs.
- SNP MP, Mhairi Black (Paisley and Renfrewshire South) asked about the need for an increase to employment and support allowance.
- Conservative MP, Simon Fell (Barrow and Furness) asked about closing the gap between disadvantaged school children and their peers.
- SNP MP, David Linden (Glasgow East) asked about removing the freeze to the benefit cap threshold.
- Conservative MP, Rob Butler (Aylesbury) asked about a scheme in his constituency to collect food for foodbanks.
- Labour MP, Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South) asked about the funding gap for local councils.
Catch up on the full PMQs
Image: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor