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By Lord Watson of Wyre Forest
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Keir Starmer Says Everybody Is "Paying The Price" For Tory Party "Meltdown"

Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak attended the last PMQs of the year (parliamentlive.tv)

3 min read

Labour leader Keir Starmer told Prime Minister's Questions that everybody was "paying the price" for a "meltdown" in the Conservative Party.

Despite winning the vote in Parliament on the Rwanda Bill on Tuesday evening, it has nonetheless been a difficult week for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak so far, with numerous factions of the Conservative Party in dispute with each other and the government over the issue of migration. The in-fighting over the government's Rwanda Bill looks set to carry over to the new year when the legislation continues its passage through Parliament.

As the leaders of the main parties came head to head at PMQs – the last one before the end of the year – Starmer accused Sunak of being distracted from the task of running the country by conflict on his benches.

"Rather than indulging his backbenchers swanning around with their factions and their star chambers, pretending to be members of the mafia, when's he gonna get a grip and focus on the country?" Starmer said.

"He can spill it all he likes but the whole country can see that yet again the Tory Party is in meltdown and everyone else is paying the price."

Starmer also pointed out numerous reports in which Conservative MPs had criticised Sunak's leadership skills.

"He's kicked the can down the road and within the last week, his MPs have said of him he's not capable enough, he's inexperienced, he's arrogant, a really bad politician..." Starmer continued.

Pointing to the Tory benches, he urged Conservative MPs to put their hands up if they were the one to call Sunak a "really bad politician".

"While they fight amongst themselves as a country out here that isn't being governed, where more than 100,000 people are paying hundreds more on their mortgages, energy bills going back up in January, the economy shrinking again, NHS waiting list at an all time high," Starmer said. 

"Doesn't he think the government would be better off fixing the messes they've already made, rather than scrambling to create new ones?"

Sunak responded by saying they should look at "substance" rather than "political tittle tattle".

"He talks about governing and spent the first two questions talking about political tittle tattle," he said.

"Well, let's get on to the substance. The most important thing is education, because that's how we spread opportunity in our country and what did we learn?

"Where are the schools performing best in the United Kingdom? In England, thanks to the reforms of this Conservative government, rising up the league tables, giving our kids the start they need. And where are they plummeting down? In Labour-run Wales."

Starmer also criticised Sunak for being "tone deaf" on the issue of homelessness, as nearly 140,000 children are going to be homeless this Christmas, more than ever before.

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