Labour calls levelling up targets ‘admission of failure’ as another Tory MP calls for no confidence vote in PM – live | Politics


This dichotomy between the leaders was illustrated by asking the group who ‘won’ the session. Some felt as though Boris Johnson, with his punchier responses, highlighting his government’s record, cut way above [Keir] Starmer, while others found Starmer’s approach more palatable and Johnson’s deflection of the questions problematic. Praise was, once again, reserved for Ian Blackford, who the group seemed to appreciate for his directness in questioning and not letting the issue of partygate slide …

However, it was in the meat of PMQs that came the most fascinating responses. Having led on Conservative tax rises despite claiming to be a low tax party, the group did not necessarily agree with Starmer’s questioning. Instead, the group tended to empathise more with the government, appreciating that tax rises may be necessary in order to pay back the cost of things such as furlough and business support, which the government were roundly praised for. The difficult decisions ahead for the government, including things such as the National Insurance rise, may not be the vote-loser some backbench Conservatives

think it is, based on the evidence of this group, providing that the government can continue to hammer home its pandemic record.

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