PMQs: Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer set to face off over Cop27 U-turn and Braverman appointment

PMQs: Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer set to face off over Cop27 U-turn and Braverman appointment
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Aden-Jay Wood

By Aden-Jay Wood

Published: 02/11/2022

- 11:20

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 10:33

The pair will face off in the House of Commons at around midday on Wednesday

Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer are set to face off during Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Among the topics that the Labour leader could probe Mr Sunak with include his decision to attend Cop27, despite previously saying he would not be going.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Prime Minister wrote on Twitter that there was “no long-term prosperity without action on climate change”, and no energy security without investing in renewables, as he confirmed he would attend this year’s UN talks.

Mr Sunak was initially not planning to attend, with Downing Street saying he was focusing on “depressing domestic challenges”.

Britain's new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delivers a speech outside Number 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain, October 25, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Rishi Sunak

Reacting to the news, deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said Ms Sunak had been “dragged kicking and screaming into doing the right thing”.

“Embarrassing,” she added.

While others, including Green MP Caroline Lucas backed the PM’s decision.

Lucas wrote on Twitter: “Glad to see Sunak’s screeching U-turn on #COP27, but what an embarrassing mis-step on the world stage. Let this be a lesson to him – climate leadership matters.

“Now he urgently needs to increase UK ambition on emission reduction targets & pay what we owe to global climate funds.”

The re-appointment of Ms Braverman into Cabinet is also a topic that Sir Keir could bring up during PMQs.

On Monday, Ms Braverman insisted she addressed concerns about a possible security breach involving the emailing of official government documents “transparently and comprehensively”.

During heated exchanges in the Commons, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper questioned how the public could have confidence in her when she reportedly ignored legal advice on her duty to house migrants and broke ministerial rules on handling official documents.

Ms Braverman hit back, accusing her opponents of “playing political parlour games” in a bid to get rid of her.

In a lengthy statement to MPs, she said she sent official documents from her government email address to her personal account on six occasions, insisting there was “no risk to national security”.

British Labour Party leader Keir Starmer at Westminster Abbey, on the day of state funeral and burial of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in London, Britain, September 19, 2022    REUTERS/John Sibley
Sir Keir Starmer

A Home Office review identified the incidents after she was forced to resign for breaching the ministerial code by sending a draft government statement to an ally from her personal account.

Six days after she was forced to quit by Liz Truss, she was reappointed by Mr Sunak when he became Prime Minister.

In the Commons, Ms Cooper said it looks like Ms Braverman breached the ministerial code – which requires ministers to uphold the law – three times in one day, including one occasion when she ignored legal advice.

“Every day since her reappointment there have been more stories about possible security or ministerial code breaches,” Ms Cooper said.

“How is anybody supposed to have confidence in her given the serious responsibilities of the Home Secretary for security standards and public safety?”

Ms Braverman denied ignoring legal advice and said she had dealt “transparently and comprehensively” with her “error of judgment” in relation to her use of emails, in her letter to the Common Home Affairs Committee,.

She accused her opponents of trying to get rid of her because she is serious about dealing with the “scourge” of illegal immigration.

“The system is broken,” she said. “Illegal migration is out of control and too many people are interested in playing political parlour games, covering up the truth than solving the problem.

“I know that I speak for the decent, law-abiding, patriotic majority of British people from every background that wants safe and secure borders.

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