Who won today's PMQs? Keir Starmer reminds Rishi Sunak of one of his biggest scandals

Sunak 'appalled' by findings from report into Metropolitan Police misconduct

With former prime minister Boris Johnson facing a committee of MPs to give evidence about whether he misled the Commons over Partygate, and MPs voting for current prime minister Rishi Sunak's Windsor Framework Brexit deal, today is a big day in British politics.

As big a day as yesterday, then, when the damning Casey review into the Metropolitan police was published, which found that the force was institutionally sexist, homophobic and racist, and detailed numerous scandals overseen by serving officers.

A perfect day, then, for the PM to face the scrutiny of the leader of the opposition Keir Starmer in the weekly session of prime minister's questions, and to discuss these issues.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Starmer focussed on the Casey review in particular, and the prime minister said he was "appalled" by the findings.

Here's what happened:

Sunak: "It is imperative that The Met regains the trust of the people it is privileged to serve," 8/10

After Starmer brought up the Casey review, the prime minister made it clear that the findings were unacceptable.

It wasn't much, and it would have been very odd if he hadn't, but good on him for doing so.

After all, it adds weight to the pressure on the Met to change and legitimises the review when it is supported by the most powerful person in the country.

In response, Starmer called on Sunak to back a Labour plan to improve vetting in the police but Sunak said there was no need for that as he was already working on new plans to tighten up procedures across all forces.

Sunak: "Primary public accountability of The Met sits with the mayor of London," 3/10

Then, he downplayed what the government could do to improve policing with this ridiculous line.

While what he said was factual, it is bad optics to pass the buck and it made it seem like he was playing party politics rather than treating the review with the seriousness it deserved.

Starmer: "People are fed up to the back teeth of a government that never takes responsibility and just blames everybody," 9/10

So Starmer spoke for us all when he told the prime minister that people were "fed up" with his blustering.

Sunak: "You can't trust them to keep Britain safe," 0/10

At that point, reasoned debate stopped and Sunak doubled down on his Punch and Judy style of politics and spouted some nonsense about Labour's policing record.

Labour is not in power and hasn't been for 13 years, for those unaware...

Starmer: "He is totally out of touch," 9/10

Starmer clearly found the prime minister ridiculous and told Sunak to "get out of Westminster" and speak to ordinary people about how crime impacts them before making statements about how good the Tories' record on crime is.

Sunak: "North Yorkshire is a lot further away than North London", 2/10

Nonsense prevailed. Sunak compared the two leader's constituencies and played this bizarre game about which man was more out of touch - just what voters up and down the country want to hear...

He then said Labour was "soft on crime and soft on criminals".

In response, Starmer said he has "prosecuted countless rapists" whereas Sunak has broken the law - alluding to the Partygate fine he received last year.


With his background in prosecution, discussing reports into policing and serious crime is comfortable ground for Starmer, so it is unsurprising he dedicated all of his questions to Sunak on this matter.

Given how serious and sensitive the issue is, it needed to be treated as such and at first it looked like that would happen with MPs sitting in sombre silence.

Unfortunately, things soon descended into total farce with both sides shouting cheap lines and trying to get one over each other and speaker of the house Lindsay Hoyle had to interrupt so many times, we're sure he popped out to get some Strepsils as soon as the session finished.

Depressing stuff, when you think about it.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)