World news – PMQs LIVE: ‘Why’s he not here?!’ Boris hits out at Keir Starmer after ‘negative test’

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The Prime Minister was questioned by deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner during PMQs after a turbulent 24 hours in which the Government announced COVID-19 tests would now need to be rationed. Ms Rayner tweeted ahead of her appearance in the Commons: “We are at a perilous moment.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has missed today’s PMQs as he remained in isolation awaiting a coronavirus test result for a member of his family, which has come back negative. 

It comes one week after Mr Johnson announced his « Operation Moonshot » plan for mass coronavirus testing of millions of people.

But people have been turning up to accident and emergency to ask for COVID-19 tests as the system struggles to cope with soaring demand.

With his Government facing challenges on multiple fronts, Mr Johnson will be asked about the response to the pandemic, as well as Brexit negotiations and the Integrated Review of foreign policy, defence, security and international development.

Mr Blackford said: “My goodness what nonsense I never once mentioned once in a generation and the Prime Minister should withdraw that.

“Clause 46 of this Bill allows this Tory government to bypass Scotland’s parliament and take decisions on the NHS, for education, for infrastructure, for economic development culture and sport. A blatant power grab.

“We all know what the Tory backbenchers are saying behind closed doors the Prime Minister is incompetent, he can’t govern and they want him away before the next election.”

The Prime Minister said: “I am not quite clear if he is in favour of the Union or not? I take it from his hostility he wants to support the Union.

“I should just remind him that in the recent coronavirus crisis £5.4billion has been spent in Scotland as a result of the Barnett consequential and I am proud to say that 70% of testing that has taken place in Scotland has been supported by the UK Government.”

Boris Johnson said: “While the Labour opposition has been consistently carping from the sidelines we are getting on with delivering for the British public.

“She hasn’t contested any of my statistics today, we are getting on with delivering with the priorities of the British people.

“Getting us through this COVID crisis, delivering on making this country safer bringing forward measure to stop the release of dangerous sexual and violent offenders.

“Strengthening our Union, building more affordable homes across this country in addition to recruiting more doctors more nurse and building more hospitals.”

Angela Rayner asked the PM to explain why birth partners are not able to attend births.

She said: “Under the new guidance many birth partners will not be able to join until the moment of established labour leaving women alone without support.

“Will you work with us to ensure sure no woman is forced to give birth without the support they need?”

He responded: « Members across the House will agree entirely. I perfectly understand the point she makes and she is entirely right.”

She quipped: « The next time a man with COVID-19 symptoms drives from London to Durham it will prbably be for the nearest COVID-19 test ».

Boris Johnson said: “In the last couple of weeks we have increased the capacity of our testing by 10 percent.

“We want to get up to 500,000 tests per day by the end of October. We are testing more than any other European country.”

But the Tory leader said she was « right » to « express the frustration of people across this country about the massive demand there is now for tests ».

He said: “Just to repeat the statistics per 1,000 this country is testing 2.55, Germany 1.88, Spain 1.91 and France 1.89.

“The British people are responding with a huge surge in demand and it is important everyone follows the guidance about when to get a test.”

Angela Rayner asked: “He makes promises and then breaks those promises. They have had six months to get this right and yet the PM can still not deliver on his promises.

“The Governments latest figure show that there were an average of 62,000 people tested per day. How does the Prime Minister explain this?”

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner called on the Prime Minister to « get some skates on » in delivering testing and PPE to care homes ahead of winter.

The Deputy Leader of the Labour Party said: « I must say to the Prime Minister get some skates on it. Those care workers are still not getting the PPE they need, they’re still not getting the testing they need.

« So I urge the Prime Minister to get on top of this problem now before the winter crisis hits.

« The Prime Minister has put his faith in Operation Moonshot, but meanwhile on planet Earth there are no NHS tests available for several high-infection areas. »

She asked: « Can the Prime Minister confirm yes or no, do all care homes in this country have weekly tests? »

The Prime Minister said: « Yes, to the best of my knowledge care homes in this country… should get weekly tests for all staff members and tests every 28 days for those who are in the care homes, the residents in the care homes. »

Boris Johnson expressed concerns about COVID-19 infection rates in care homes, as he prepared to announce a « toughening up » of rules governing care home worker movement.

Ms Rayner challenged the Prime Minister to give the social care sector the funding it needs to « get through this looming winter crisis ».

Mr Johnson replied: « We are concerned about the rates of infection in care homes, clearly they’ve come down massively since we instituted the £600 million care home action plan.

« Tomorrow we will be announcing a further winter care home action plan and it won’t surprise her to know that we want to see a toughening up of the rules governing the movement of workers from one care home to another, we want to make sure we protect care homes from further infections. »

Ms Rayner said Boris Johnson once earned £2,300 an hour, asking: « So can the Prime Minister tell us what is the average hourly rate for a care worker in this country? »

She went on: “The Prime Minster doesn’t know how much a care worker earns because that was my question.

“The shameful fact is the average wage in social care is £8 an hour. Half of our social care workers earn less than the real living wage.

“Will our Prime Minister commit today to give our social care sector the funding that it needs now to get through the looming crisis?”

Mr Johnson defended the speed of testing but did not offer an answer on the average hourly rate, to which Ms Rayner said: « The whole country would have seen that the Prime Minister doesn’t know how much a care worker earns because that was my question – the shameful fact is the average wage in social care is barely more than £8 an hour. »

The PM questioned why the Labour leader wasn’t appearing at the debate after his child recieved a negative COVID-19 test. 

Angela Rayner opened PMQs by reading a message from « a man called Keir » – as she deputised for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Ms Rayner told the Commons: « Keir wasn’t able to go to work today and his children couldn’t go to school because his family had to wait for their coronavirus test results despite the Prime Minister’s promise of results within 24 hours.

« Keir was able to do the right thing and self-isolate and work from home, but other people aren’t in this position – many of them are the very people getting us through this crisis. »

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has begun the debate by marking the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to America.

The Labour leader tweeted: « I’m very pleased and relieved that the test result for one of my children came back negative this morning.

« Thank you to the NHS hospital where my wife works for ensuring that their staff and family members have quick access to a test. »

Ministers are said be worried about link between children returning to school and the surge in demand for testing. 

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SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com

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