As it happenedended1536769110

PMQs - as it happened: Corbyn says May ‘pouring petrol on burning injustices’ with universal credit rollout

Updates from Westminster, as they happened

May ‘pouring petrol on burning injustices’ with universal credit rollout, says Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has clashed with Theresa May over failings related to the government’s flagship welfare programme, claiming the prime minister is “pouring petrol” on the “burning injustices” she set out to resolve.

As the roll-out of universal credit accelerates, the Labour leader criticised the highly-contentious policy, saying that it is forcing more children into poverty and driving claimants to use food banks in greater numbers.

"The prime minister is not challenging the burning injustices in our society, she's pouring petrol on the crisis. When will she stop inflicting misery on the people of this country," Mr Corbyn said.

It came as speculation swirled around Westminster over a plot to oust Ms May as prime minister from her own backbenchers.

Members of the European Research Group (ERG), an influential group of Tory Eurosceptics, spent nearly an hour war-gaming plans to oust the prime minister over her Brexit blueprint at a meeting on Tuesday night.

However senior figures, including ex-Brexit secretary David Davis and Jacob Rees-Mogg, distanced themselves from reports of plans to oust Ms May from Downing Street.

See below for live updates

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Welcome to The Independent's politics liveblog, where we will be bringing you all the latest updates throughout the day.

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Early news coming in from Brussels, where Jean-Claude Juncker has given his clearest signal yet that the EU will not accept Theresa May’s plan to keep Britain in the single market for goods after Brexit.

In his annual state of the union address in Strasbourg, the European Commission president said parts of the single market could “certainly not” be jettisoned for countries outside the bloc.

My colleague Jon Stone has more:

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Open plotting by up to 50 Tory MPs who discussed how to topple Theresa May has been dismissed as “loose talk” by leading Brexiteer Michael Gove.

The environment secretary rejected any immediate threat to the prime minister’s position, insisting Conservative MPs should throw their weight behind her plan to deliver EU withdrawal next March.

 More here:

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Hardline Eurosceptics are preparing to publish their alternative plan for the Northern Irish border after Brexit - an issue which has dominated the negotiations with Brussels.

The European Research Group, an influential Brexit supporting group of Tory backbenchers, has been ramping up the pressure on the prime minister to "chuck Chequers", her Brexit blueprint. 

This is the same group who were openly plotting against the PM last night, but there appear to be divisions within their ranks. Senior figures such as Jacob Rees-Mogg, who leads the group, have said they will oppose Chequers but they don't necessarily want to overthrow May.

Here's a piece from yesterday on their plans:

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There was discussion of bringing down the prime minister at Westminster last night – but it may be just fevered talk, writes Independent political commentator John Rentoul.

Read his take on last night's events here:

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Here's the lineup for PMQs today. None of the really hardline Brexiteers have got a question on the order paper, but it will be interesting to see if they pop up.

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Meanwhile, the Brexiteers are gathering this morning for the launch of a paper on the Northern Ireland border. 

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Interesting tweet here from Tory MP Michael Fabricant about that ERG meeting last night.

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My colleague Ben Kentish is covering the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Manchester and is tweeting from Justin Welby's speech.

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Another key event going on at the moment is the ERG launch of their new plans for the Northern Ireland border. Here's an excerpt. 

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