Watch as Sunak faces Starmer in PMQs after forcing through bill for smoking ban

Oliver Browning
Wednesday 17 April 2024 14:05 BST

Watch as Rishi Sunak faces Sir Keir Starmer in Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday 17 April.

The House of Commons returned from Easter recess this week, with the government’s flagship Rwanda policy, smoking ban and Iran’s attack on Israel high on the agenda.

Mr Sunak’s proposal to ban young people from ever being able to legally smoke tobacco cleared its first Commons hurdle yesterday, despite a swathe of Conservatives objecting to it in a blow to his authority.

MPs voted 383 to 67, majority 316, to give the Tobacco and Vapes Bill a second reading.

Meanwhile, ministers are confident deportation flights to Rwanda will take off this spring, despite the legislation underpinning the plan remaining in parliamentary deadlock.

Treasury minister Laura Trott said there were “many definitions of spring” when pressed about a timeline for getting planes off the runway.

The Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill returns to the Commons on Wednesday, after the House of Lords again pressed demands for revisions, prolonging the parliamentary wrangling.

MPs are likely to reject these changes, meaning the legislation will be sent back to the Lords again.

The legislation seeks to clear the way to send asylum seekers who cross the Channel in small boats on a one-way flight to Kigali, but it will only receive royal assent and become law once agreement between parliament’s two houses is reached.

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