Politics

Who won today's PMQs? Keir Starmer tells Rishi Sunak 'he needs to get out more'

Rishi Sunak claims Keir Starmer only listens to his 'union paymasters'

Prime minister Rishi Sunak and leader of the opposition Keir Starmer have just had their weekly parliamentary ding-dong.

This week, the pair rattled through some of the biggest issues of the day from education to housing at alarming pace, scraping the surface of each one before discarding it for the next one - like children eating the foam off their parent's Cappuccino.

It gave us whiplash to watch and (spoiler alert) we weren't much impressed with either performance but who came out on top?

Here is our weekly rundown of everything that happened and how we rated it:

Sunak: "During Covid he wanted to keep schools closed... We shouldn't be surprised, I listen to parents, he listens to his union paymasters", 2/10

Starmer began proceedings by attacking Sunak on private school's tax status and even mentioned the school the prime minister himself went to, Winchester College.

Showing ducking ability that should see Sunak join a dodgeball team, the PM sidestepped the question and attacked Starmer over his Covid policies - that were obviously cooked up two years ago and are no longer relevant to the party's education plans - then got in a rabble rousing line about Starmer listening to the unions for bad measure.

His continued attempts to act like Starmer is 1970s style union leader are as false as they are embarrassing and refusing to answer the leader of the opposition's reasonable question about the use of taxpayers money was ridiculous.

He added that Labour's attempt to end tax breaks for private schools were an "attack on aspiration" motivated by "resentment".

Given some 7 per cent of people attend private schools, this is hardly a populist rallying cry.

Starmer: "He really does need to get out more," 7/10

So it is no wonder Starmer replied with this withering line which we enjoyed, before moving on to the issue of home ownership - or lack thereof in this country...

Starmer: "I love my kids but I don't want to be cooking them dinner in 30 years time," 9/10

He said that the rate of homebuilding was not good enough and that people born these days are unlikely to end up owning homes. Not only did he hammer this point home with the illustrative example of his children, he managed to get a joke in and show his personality as a Dad TM. A win on all fronts.

Sunak: "He's too weak to stop dozens of his MPs from joining the picket lines," 3/10

A flustered Sunak once again failed to paint Starmer as a union baron amid continued strike action in the country. Strikes, that as the public know, Starmer has nothing to do with.

Starmer: "Every week he hands out cash to those who don't need it, every week he gets pushed round and every week he gets weaker," 8/10

With Sunak floundering, Starmer delivered his killer blow and made the prime minister seem like a weak toddler being given a wedgie in the playground. He's been calling him weak for a few weeks now - sorry for the homophone - and it is working.

Sunak: "I'll take the tough decisions for this country. It's the politics of yesterday with him or the politics of tomorrow with me," 4/10

And so, the ghost of Boris Johnson reared his ugly head once again as Sunak banged on about "tough decisions" in response. It has been a good few weeks that he has been prime minister now, so surely he's had enough time to get his own style, rather than act like a crap tribute act.

As for the politics of tomorrow stuff, given New Labour's record in power, we think the politics of yesterday sound pretty great.

Verdict

This edition felt a bit bitty, with no new big story dominating the political agenda this week or scandal to speak off, Starmer veered between topics but failed to get any real answers out of Sunak who played the man not the ball instead.

It was all a bit 'meh' and didn't leave us excited about the politicians we have in the country, but overall Starmer did a better job.

Here's some other hot takes.

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