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PMQs: Starmer attacks Johnson over universal credit cuts; No 10 confirms cabinet reshuffle – live No 10 confirms imminent cabinet reshuffle; Starmer attacks Johnson at PMQs over universal credit cuts – live
(32 minutes later)
Latest updates: prime minister takes questions in Commons before a cabinet overhaul takes place this afternoon Latest updates: cabinet overhaul due to take place this afternoon after prime minister takes questions in Commons
Kemi Badenoch, who doubles up as equalities minister and a Treasury minister, has been spotted outside the PM’s office in the Commons, according to the Times’ Eleni Courea. Badenoch has been tipped for education secretary.
From ITV’s Carl Dinnen
Gavin Williamson was one of two cabinet ministers conspicuously missing from the frontbench during PMQs. The other was Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, another minister tipped for demotion.
Raab is first secretary of state (theoretically the de facto deputy PM) as well as foreign secretary. It is possible that he could be moved out of the Foreign Office, but allowed to keep the first secretary of state title, in a way that would make any move look less like a demotion.
Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, has already given a leaving speech, according to HuffPost’s Sophia Sleigh.
Sarah Jones (Lab) asks about constituents being charged £23,000 to remove dangerous cladding who do not get government help because it is the wrong type of cladding.
Johnson says, if people do not need to remove that cladding, they will not get help. He says too many flats have been deemed unsafe.
And that’s it. PMQs is over, and Johnson is off to get started on the sackings. (See 12.22pm.)
Neil Parish (Con) asks the government to back public procurement for British food.
Johnson backs the idea, says Parish himself is the living embodiment of the virtues of British food. He says all embassies now have a food envoy.
Johnson says the future of work under Labour is low skills and law wages, driven by high immigration.Johnson says the future of work under Labour is low skills and law wages, driven by high immigration.
Andrew Bridgen (Con) asks about government support for nuclear power.Andrew Bridgen (Con) asks about government support for nuclear power.
Johnson says the government is waiting for the Rolls Royce consortium to come forward with a fully worked out plan.Johnson says the government is waiting for the Rolls Royce consortium to come forward with a fully worked out plan.
Jamie Stone (Lib Dem) asks the PM to back a space project in Sutherland.Jamie Stone (Lib Dem) asks the PM to back a space project in Sutherland.
Johnson welcomes the project. It needs a suitable payload, he says. He says Keir Starmer would be suitable.Johnson welcomes the project. It needs a suitable payload, he says. He says Keir Starmer would be suitable.
Kieran Mullan (Con) asks the PM to attend a meeting on the geothermal sector.Kieran Mullan (Con) asks the PM to attend a meeting on the geothermal sector.
Johnson says he is very interested in these projects, and will hold a meeting.Johnson says he is very interested in these projects, and will hold a meeting.
Jack Dromey (Lab) asks about the proposed GKN factory closure in Birmingham.Jack Dromey (Lab) asks about the proposed GKN factory closure in Birmingham.
Johnson says the business secretary is looking at this. But the future for the automative sector in the UK is bright, he says. The country is moving towards electric vehicles. That will drive high-skilled jobs, he says.Johnson says the business secretary is looking at this. But the future for the automative sector in the UK is bright, he says. The country is moving towards electric vehicles. That will drive high-skilled jobs, he says.
Bob Blackman (Con) asks the PM to back the Scouts movement, and praises its new youth wing, the Squirrels.Bob Blackman (Con) asks the PM to back the Scouts movement, and praises its new youth wing, the Squirrels.
Johnson says this initiative is fantastic.Johnson says this initiative is fantastic.
Nadia Whittome (Lab) says she was able to take time off to recover form PTSD. But other people cannot do this. Will the PM agree to raise sick pay to a level where people can live on it?Nadia Whittome (Lab) says she was able to take time off to recover form PTSD. But other people cannot do this. Will the PM agree to raise sick pay to a level where people can live on it?
Johnson says most people who are ill get more than statutory sick pay.Johnson says most people who are ill get more than statutory sick pay.
Mark Harper, the chair of the Tory Covid Recovery Group, says testing for children is interrupting their education. Does the PM agree?Mark Harper, the chair of the Tory Covid Recovery Group, says testing for children is interrupting their education. Does the PM agree?
Johnson says the government still thinks testing is a good way of keeping schools open, which is the best thing for pupils.Johnson says the government still thinks testing is a good way of keeping schools open, which is the best thing for pupils.
Anum Qaisar-Javed (SNP) asks the PM to join her in thanking health staff who fight childhood cancer. And will he attend a meeting to discuss how funding can be increased.Anum Qaisar-Javed (SNP) asks the PM to join her in thanking health staff who fight childhood cancer. And will he attend a meeting to discuss how funding can be increased.
Johnson says not a family in the country has not been touched by this. He endorses what Qaisar-Javed said.Johnson says not a family in the country has not been touched by this. He endorses what Qaisar-Javed said.
Kim Leadbeater (Lab) asks if the PM accepts the UC cuts will impact on people’s mental health.
Johnson says it would not. He says Labour would abolish UC altogether.
Neil Hudson (Con) asks if the PM will back plans to rebuild a community college in his constituency.
Johnson says 100 rebuild projects are underway already. And he says Cumbria county council has been awarded £5m for projects including this one.
Johnson says the UK has cut its dependency on coal from 40% to 1%.
Sir Roger Gale (Con) asks about a local farm that has had to trash its produce because of a shortage of pickers. Will the PM introduce a Covid recovery visa so that crops are not lost?
Johnson says he supports buying British and eating British. He says the government wants to take steps to ensure farms get the labour they need.
Tom Randall (Con) asks if there will be a review of maternity services in Nottinghamshire.
Johnson says a review is going ahead.
Chris Byrant (Lab) says there are not enough NHS doctors to save lives by dealing with the cancer backlog.
Johnson says the government is hiring more doctors and nurses.
He urges Bryant to support the NHS funding package announced last week.
A No 10 source told journalists:
Chris Green (Con) says, now the move to a national ID card has started, nationalists will use them to break up the union.
Johnson says he is opposed to ID cards.
Ian Blackford, the SNP leader at Westminster, says inflation is at is highest rate for a decade. Prices are going up when workers can least afford it. There is a Tory poverty pandemic that will only get worse. How much will welfare cuts cost the average nurse?
Johnson says the government is protected the wages of people on low income by freezing fuel duty and supporting childcare. The government is investing massively in health and social care, he says.
Blackford says the PM either does not know the answer to the question, or does not care. The average nurse will lose more than £1,000, he says. The PM does not know how much his cuts will hit people, and the DWP secretary does not know how the system works. He says any Scottish Tory MPs with a backbone would be advised to find it. Or has the PM brought them off with the promise of a job.
Johnson says nurses have access to a training bursary worth £5,000, and another bursary worth £3,000 for childcare. And their pay has gone up 3%, he says. He says if Blackford is really saying the SNP is opposed to that investment, he would be better off banging on about a referendum.
Johnson says the government is working to address the lorry driver shortage. It has changed the licensing rules. After a long period of stagnation for drivers, they are seeing wages going up. Labour is opposed to that, he says.