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    UK politics – live: Starmer claims Sunak’s Tories promoting conspiracy theories at PMQs

    (Parliament TV)

    Sir Keir Starmer has suggested the Conservatives have become the “political wing of the Flat Earth Society”.

    He told Prime Minister’s Questions: “Tory MPs spent last week claiming that Britain was being run by a shadowy cabal made up of activists, the deep state and, most chillingly of all, the Financial Times.

    “At what point did his party give up on governing and become the political wing of the Flat Earth Society?”

    Prime minister Rishi Sunak replied: “Well, another week where (Sir Keir) is just sniping from the sidelines because he has absolutely nothing that he can say on what we do.”

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    Starmer: Is Sunak too scared to stand up to his back benchers?

    Starmer now asks Sunak if he is “too scared” to stand up to a “gaggle” of backbenchers who “moonlight” as GB News presenters.

    “Or does he genuinely think Nigel Farage shares the ideals and values of the Tory party?” he adds.

    Sunak hits back by saying that in tomorrow’s Rochdale by-election there will be three former Labour MPs – thrown out of the party over various scandals – who are running for election.

    He says two of those candidates are “antisemites” and says Labour is “mired in hate”.

    Matt Mathers28 February 2024 12:41

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    Sunak declines to rule out Farage joining Tories

    Continuing on the Truss theme, Starmer picks up on the former PM’s claim that Nigel Farage is the man to restore the Tory party’s fortunes.

    He then asks Sunak if he can confirm whether he too would welcome the Reform UK party founder in his party.

    Sunak responds by saying that his party has a proud tradition of having a “diversity” and accepting everyone.

    Sunak then says his party has a better record than Labour on diversity, saying it has delivered the first female PM, the first Jewish PM and the first black chancellor… “and now led by the first Hindu prime minister”.

    He does not answer Starmer’s question on Farage.

    Matt Mathers28 February 2024 12:32

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    Sunak: I take action when I see something wrong in my party

    Sunak counters by using his suspension of Lee Anderson as an example of how he takes action when he sees something that is wrong in his party.

    PM then returns to Starmer’s support of Corbyn, saying he failed to act while “vile” antisemitism took place in the Labour Party.

    Sunak finishes his response by saying that he “acts on his principles” while Starmer “hasn’t got any”.

    Matt Mathers28 February 2024 12:26

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    ‘He has been changed by his party’

    Starmer hits back by saying he has changed his party for the better, referencing his effort to tackle antisemitism.

    The Labour leader adds: “He has been changed by his party”.

    Starmer then suggests that the real reason Sunak hasn’t suspended Truss is because he’s “too weak” to stand up to her.

    “It the story of his leadership,” he adds.

    He finishes by asking Sunak if the Tory party will take any responsibility for the state of the country after what he said was 13 years of failure.

    Matt Mathers28 February 2024 12:23

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    Sunak: Starmer is ‘shameless and spineless’

    In response, the PM said he doesn’t believe a single MP supports Tommy Robinson, the far-right anti-Islam activist.

    He then criticises Starmer over his support for former leader Jeremy Corbyn, saying the whole country “knows his record”.

    “He sat there while antisemitism ran rife in his party”, he says. Sunak points out that other Labour front benchers refused to back Corbyn before branding him “shameless and spineless”.

    Matt Mathers28 February 2024 12:18

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    Starmer asks Sunak why he’s allowing Truss to stand as an MP

    Starmer returns to Liz Truss’s visit to the US last week, where he says she was flogging her new book.

    “In search of fame and wealth she’s taken to slagging off…and undermining Britain at every opportunity,” he says.

    He references Truss’s claim that she was sabotaged by the “deep state” and also remained silent about Steve Bannon’s Tommy Robinson “hero comments”.

    The Labour leader then asks why Sunak is allowing her to stand as an MP.

    Matt Mathers28 February 2024 12:15

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    Sunak: I’m delivering on people’s priorities

    Sunak hits back by saying that the Labour leader has spent another week “sniping” from the sidelines.

    He insists his government is getting on with “delivering the people’s priorities”, saying small boats crossing are down and that the NHS is improving and inflation is falling.

    He finishes by claiming that Labour’s energy plans would result in higher taxes.

    Matt Mathers28 February 2024 12:09

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    Starmer: Tories are now political wing of ‘flat earth society’

    Starmer uses his first question to attack Sunak about his MPs who claim Britain is run by a “shadowy cabal” – a reference to Liz Truss’s visit to the US.

    Ms Truss claimed that an economic establishment – including newspapers such as the Financial Times – had undermined her efforts to reform the economy.

    He asks the PM at what point his party “gave up on governing” and become the political wing of the “flat earth society”.

    Matt Mathers28 February 2024 12:06

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    Matt Mathers28 February 2024 12:02

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    Sunak and Starmer to face off at PMQs

    Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer are about to face off at a crunch session of PMQs.

    We’ll bring you the key moments from the exchanges and we will also be live streaming the Commons show down.

    Stay tuned for the latest updates.

    (PA Wire)

    Matt Mathers28 February 2024 11:56

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