As it happenedended1499254794

PMQs live: Theresa May stands firm over demands for public sector pay cap to be lifted

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn go head-to-head for second time since general election

Benjamin Kentish@BenKentish
Wednesday 05 July 2017 12:37
PMQs: Corbyn looks incredulous as May 'reminds' him of Greece

Prime Minister's Questions returns for the second week since Parliament resumed after the general election.

Clashes between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are likely to focus on the issue of public sector pay, with ministers under mounting pressure to ease austerity and scrap the 1% cap on public sector pay increases.

A number of senior Tory ministers, including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, have called for the cap to be lifted, but Chancellor Philip Hammond is standing firm - for now at least.

Labour's Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, has been granted an urgent question in the Commons on the issue, but that is unlikely to stop Jeremy Corbyn quizzing the Ms May about it too.

MPs are likely to grill the Prime Minister on the ongoing response to the Grenfell Tower disaster, with many of the victims still to be rehoused and Kensington and Chelsea council having been widely condemned for its actions in the days after the blaze.

Today's main politics stories are:

Austerity pay cap declared 'dead in the water after firefighters offer'

David Cameron says people who opposed austerity are 'selfish'

Scotland to end public sector pay cap next year

DUP says no power-sharing deal reached in Northern Ireland

Top BBC journalist snubs Theresa May's attempt to recruit him

Government taskforce to take control of parts of Kensington council


We're underway! Theresa May begins by paying tribute to the NHS on its 60th birthday. The first question is from the SNP's Hannah Bardell who asks about a constituent who, she says, is being deported and at risk of FGM. May says FGM is an "abhorrent activity" that will not be tolerated in Britain.

It comes a day after government statistics revealed 5,000 newly-registered cases of FGM in the last year alone. As yet, no one has been successfully prosecuted for the crime...

Kristin Hugo5 July 2017 12:07

Jeremy Corbyn is up. The cheers from Labour's backbenchers are louder than they once were. No "Oh Jeremy Corbyn" chants in the Commons though..

Kristin Hugo5 July 2017 12:08

Corbyn is having none of that. "We've had seven years of tax cuts for the richest and tax breaks for the richest corporations", he fires back. 

The Labour leader points out that Theresa May found "£1 billion to keep her own job" when making a deal with the DUP and asks: "Why can't she find the same amount of money to keep nurses and teachers in their job?"

Kristin Hugo5 July 2017 12:17

Kristin Hugo5 July 2017 12:17

Corbyn moves onto intergenerational inequality, saying people in their 20s will earn £12,500 less than the last generation - "the first generation to be worse off than the last".

"Except for more misery, what does the Prime Minister and her government actually offer for the young people of this country?", he asks.

May fires back: "What we offer is more jobs, more homes, an opportunity to own their own homes".

She's now back onto the deficit and debt. "It isn't fair to bankrupt our economy", she says", criticising Labour for "telling people they can have all the public spending they want without paying for it".

Kristin Hugo5 July 2017 12:26

Boris Johnson and Michael Fallon are having a prolonged and serious-looking chat on the frontbench while May is speaking. Lipreaders will be having a good look at that one.

Kristin Hugo5 July 2017 12:32

Kristin Hugo5 July 2017 12:32

Surprisingly, there have been no questions about Grenfell Tower at PMQs so far today. The Housing Minister, Alok Sharma, is making a statement on the issue this afternoon so MPs may be saving their questions for then. But you would expect Theresa May to face at least some quizzing about what the Government is doing to help victims.

Kristin Hugo5 July 2017 12:38

May has struck a more conciliatory tone at times today. She "understands" the concerns about public sector pay and "recognises" the problems with Southern Rail. No sign of action on either, though...

Kristin Hugo5 July 2017 12:39

Kristin Hugo5 July 2017 12:39

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