Keir Starmer takes Rishi Sunak apart at PMQs over Tory chaos

“Why is the prime minister so scared to call an election?"

Keir Starmer

Rishi Sunak endured a bruising Prime Minister’s Questions this afternoon, after he was taken apart over 14 years of Tory failure and his refusal to call an election.

Sunak has endured a disastrous few weeks, after dire poll ratings as well as the defection of Lee Anderson to Reform UK and a racism row engulfing the party after its biggest donor, Frank Hester, was revealed to have made racist comments about Diane Abbott.

Sunak was hoping for an easier ride this afternoon, buoyed by the news that inflation had fallen to 3.4%, the lowest level in two and a half years. However he was taken apart over the cost of the Rwanda policy as well as Tory failings over the NHS and the state of prisons.

Starmer began PMQs by setting out a list of Tory failings, saying that prisons are full, border policy is not working, the NHS is not working, people cannot pay their mortgages, and the budget had nothing for pensioners.

The Labour leader asked: “Why is the prime minister so scared to call an election?”

Starmer then turned his attention to the government’s Rwanda bill, which returns to the Lords tonight, and asked Sunak if he could see the flaw in a policy that would only deport 1% of arrivals.

He said: “We know the Prime Minister doesn’t even believe in the Rwanda gimmick, he tried to stop funding it, but he’s now so diminished, that his entire focus is stopping his MPs holding the sword of Damocles above his head, perhaps even literally in the case of the leader of the House.”

He added: “How has he managed to spend £600 million of taxpayer money on a gimmick to deport 300 people?”

Sunak tried to portray Labour as ‘soft on criminals’, to which Starmer replied: “I’ve prosecuted more people smugglers than he’s had helicopter rides – and that’s a lot.”

The Labour leader also took aim at Sunak for violent prisoners being released early because the Tories wrecked the criminal justice system.

Starmer used his final question to highlight just how much of a disaster the Tories have been for Britain. He said: “The mortgage mayhem, the waiting lists, the criminals walking free, they are the cost of Tory chaos and If they can’t bring themselves to stop the endless games and gimmicks…they should pack up, go home and waste somebody else’s time.”

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