Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Prime Minister's Questions: 24 June 2020

Normal
(0)
Difficulty: 0

>> Sarah Atherton (Wrexham) (Con) If he will list his official engagements for

Wednesday 24 June.

>> The Prime Minister (Boris Johnson) This morning I had meetings with ministerial

colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in this House, I shall have further such meetings

later today.

>> Sarah Atherton My constituents in Wrexham welcome the announcement

by the chief medical officers of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England about reducing

the UK covid alert level from 4 to 3. Indeed, through my work at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital,

I have seen a reduction in the number of covid-positive cases needing to be treated. Does the Prime

Minister therefore agree that the UK-wide approach works and we need to continue with

it to beat the pandemic?

>> The Prime Minister First, I personally pay tribute to my hon.

Friend for the shifts she has put in throughout the pandemic and of course thank all her colleagues

at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital, which I know. Working together across all four nations of

our country is indeed the way in which we will beat the pandemic.

>> Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) (Lab) Yesterday, the Government announced the next

stage of easing lockdown restrictions. If that plan is to workand we want it to workwe

need an effective track, trace and isolate system. The Prime Minister promised that a

world-beating system would be in place by 1 June. The latest figures from yesterdays

press conference hosted by the Prime Minister show that 33,000 people are estimated to have

covid-19 in England. The latest track, trace and isolate figures show that just over 10,000

people with covid-19 were reached and asked to provide contact details. I recognise the

hard work that has gone into this, but if two thirds of those with covid-19 are not

being reached and asked to provide contact details, there is a big problem, isnt there?

>> The Prime Minister On the contrary. I think that the right hon.

and learned Gentleman has been stunned by the success of the test and trace operation.

Contrary to his prognostications of gloom, it has got up and running much faster than

the doubters expected. They are getting it doneDido Harding and her team have recruited

25,000 people and so far they have identified and contacted 87,000 people who have voluntarily

agreed to self-isolate to stop the disease spreading. I do not think the right hon. and

learned Gentleman would have predicted that a few weeks ago. I think he should pay tribute

now to Dido and her team for what they are doing.

>> Keir Starmer The Prime Minister just has not addressed

the question I put to him. I was not asking about those who have gone into the systemthe

10,000or those who have been contacted; I was asking about the two thirds of the 33,000

with covid-19 who were not reached. That is a big gap. The Prime Minister risks making

the mistakes he made at the beginning of the pandemicbrushing aside challenge, dashing

forward, not estimating the risks properly. If two thirds of those with covid-19 are not

being contacted, that is a big problem. If we do not get track, trace and isolate properly

running, we cannot open the economy or prevent infection from spreading, so let me ask the

question in a different way. What is the Governments strategy for closing the gap between the number

of people with covid-19 and those going into the systemnot what happens to those who

go into the system?

>> The Prime Minister I hesitate to accuse the right hon. and learned

Gentleman of obscurantism. He is misleading on the key point. The number of people with

covid in this country is, of course, an estimate.

>> Mr Speaker Order.

>> The Prime Minister Inadvertently misleading

>> Mr Speaker Order. Prime Minister, one of us is going

to have to give way and it will have to be you. Obviously, no hon. Member misleads or

ever would, whichever side they are from.

>> The Prime Minister The right hon. and learned Gentleman is inadvertently

giving a false impression of what test and trace is doing. The 33,000 cases in the country

is, of course, an estimate. NHS test and trace is contacting the vast majority of those who

test positive and their contacts and getting them to self-isolate. It is a formidable achievement.

Yesterday, the right hon. and learned Gentleman was kind enough to say that he supported our

policy and our programmeI seem to remember him saying that loud and clear yesterday.

Todayas I say, I understand the constraints of the profession in which he used to work;

I know how it workshe seems to be yo-yoing back into a position of opposition. Which

is it: is he supporting what we are doing or is he against it?

>> Keir Starmer The figures I have, which the Prime Minister

says are inadvertently misleading, are the slide at his press conference yesterday and

the slide at the Governments press conference last weekthe latest figures. They are the

two figures. I do support the next stage of the operation, but the Prime Minister is wrong

to reject challenge. Sixty-five thousand people have lost their lives because of covid-19.

The Prime Minister should welcome challenge that could save lives, rather than complaining

about it.

Another risk to this plan is if local councils do not have the powers and resources to implement

local lockdowns. There is a report today that eight out of 10 councils face bankruptcy or

cutting services, with many of those in the north-east and midlands, where, as the Prime

Minister knows, there are the worst affected areas for covid-19. The real concern among

council leaders is that they do not have the powers or guidance to implement lockdowns

quickly if needed. The Conservative leader of Oxfordshire County Council said it would

beinterestingfor central

government to confirm what is meant by the local lockdown”—

including

clear guidance as to those powers and what is expected of us”.

Can the Prime Minister tell us when local authorities will get the guidance that they

need?

>> The Prime Minister Everybody understandswe have seen it already,

across the countrythat when there are local outbreaks, for instance in Weston-super-Mare

or in GP surgeries in north London, there have been local lockdowns and local crackdowns.

We have a very effective cluster-busting operation, which is designed to ensure that we keep those

outbreaks under control. Local councils understand how to do it, with the local resilience forums

backed up by the joint biosecurity centre. That is how it works and that is how it is

going to work, and it is a very effective way of keeping this disease under control.

I am not going to pretend to the right hon. and learned Gentleman or to the House that

this thing is beaten or that the virus has gone way, because clearly that is not the

case. We have to remain extremely vigilant, and local councils will be supported in doing

their vital work in implementing local lockdowns.

>> Keir Starmer May I now turn to the app? This really matters

because unless someone with covid-19 can name and identify everybody they have been in contact

with, the app is the only way of tracing unknown contacts. My hon. Friend the Member for Hove

(Peter Kyle) made precisely that point yesterday. He gave the example, “How on earth do you

trace everyone in close contact at a seafront or in a park without an app?” Up until last

week, the Government maintained that the app wascriticalanother of their slidesbut

at the weekend the Health Secretary downplayed the app, saying it was only ever additional

support. So which is it: critical or not?

>> The Prime Minister I wonder whether the right hon. and learned

Gentleman can name a single country in the world that has a functional contract tracing

appthere isnt one. What we haveand what, I am afraid, has left the Opposition

slightly founderingis a very successful NHS test and trace operation, which yesterday

they supported. Yesterday, they said it was good enough for this country to go forward

with step 3 of our plan, but today they are yo-yoing back again and saying that it is

not good enough. They need to make up their mind. They need to get behind NHS test and

trace, support it and take the country forward together.

>> Keir Starmer Germany. It had its app working on 15 June

and it has had 12 million downloadsI checked that overnight. [Interruption.] Twelve millionit

is way beyond. The Health Secretary said that we would have the app by mid-Maypresumably

that was on advice. The Prime Minister said that we would have it by 1 June, but now Government

Ministers say that it will not be ready until the winter. We have spent £12 million on

this. Other countries are ahead of us. When are we going to have a working app?

>> The Prime Minister I am afraid that the right hon. and learned

Gentleman is completely wrong, because no country in the world has a working contact

tracing app. I have always been clearwe have always been clearthat the app would

be the icing on the cake. If we can get it to work, it will be a fine thing, but there

is not one anywhere in the world so far. What we do have is a fantastic NHS test and trace

operation that is already up and running, that is going to get better and better, and

that will be indispensable to our future success. I think that he should support it and, by

the way, that he should make it much clearer that he supports our programme going forward.

Since the right hon. and learned Gentleman mentions Labour councils and support for Labour

councils, perhaps he might clear up the position of yesterday and say once and for all that

Labour councils should now be encouraging children in their areas to go back to school.

We heard some warm words from him yesterday. Can he now confirm that he wants all children

who can go back to school to go back to school this month?

>> Keir Starmer Yes. The only U-turn here was the Education

Secretary on 9 June, who ripped up the Governments plans to get children back into school before

the summer break.

There is a theme to these exchanges. Last week, I asked the Prime Minister about two

claims about child poverty. He said that absolute child poverty and relative child poverty

have both declined under this Government”.—[Official Report, 17 June 2020; Vol. 677, c. 796.]

On Monday, the Office of the Childrens Commissioner ruled that the Prime Ministers

answer wasmostly false”. The Prime Minister also said that there are 400,000 fewer families

living in poverty now than there were in 2010. On Monday, the Office of the Childrens

Commissioner ruled that that was simplyfalse”. He has been found out. He either dodges the

question or he gives dodgy answers. Mr Speaker, no more witnesses; I rest my case. Will the

Prime Minister do the decent thing and correct the record in relation to child poverty?

>> The Prime Minister I am happy to point out to mlearned friend

that actually, there are 100,000 fewer children in absolute poverty and 500,000 fewer children

falling below thresholds of low income and material deprivation. This Government, as

he knows, are massively increasing universal credit with £7 billion more to help the poorest

and neediest families in our country. We are getting on with it. We are taking the tough

decisions. He still cannot make up his mind.

Talking about child poverty, the single biggest determinant of a childs success is whether

he or she goes to school. The right hon. and learned Gentleman still will not say whether

children should go. I think it is absolutely infamous for him to come to the House one

day and say he supports the programme and then, the next day, not to confirm that he

wants kids to go to school now.

>> Ms Nusrat Ghani (Wealden) (Con) Seafarers, global key workers, have given

us goods from food to medicine during covid, but that is now under threat. Some 400,000

mariners are stuck on board their ships due to the failure of countries to agree crew

changes. The United Kingdom is the worlds leading maritime nation, and we are home to

the International Maritime Organisation, which gives us a unique responsibility. Will my

right hon. Friend the Prime Minister agree to meet the Chamber of Shipping to marshal

the global community to help to get our seafarers home and ensure that free trade continues

to flow?

>> The Prime Minister My hon. Friend knows a great deal about the

subject whereof she now speaks. We remain fully committed to the welfare of all seafarers,

regardless of their nationality. We ask all states to do the same. I look forward to discussing

that in person with her.

>> Ian Blackford (Ross, Skye and Lochaber) (SNP) [V]

I am sure the whole House will join me in passing on condolences to the family of the

three children who sadly lost their lives in a house fire in Paisley last Friday evening,

Fiona, Alexander and Philip Gibsonsuch a terrible tragedy.

This morning, we heard growing concerns from medical experts about the real risk of a second

wave of covid-19. At the same time, experts at the Fraser of Allander Institute outlined

the scale of the economic challenges ahead, with a raft of redundancies and business closures

if financial support is withdrawn. They warned that measures that risk a second wave of the

virus would delay recovery in Scotland until 2024. The health and economic emergency requires

an unprecedented response.

On Monday, the Scottish Governments advisory group on economic recovery, led by independent

business leaders, published its initial analysis to secure a strong recovery. Will the Prime

Minister welcome those efforts to find a way forward out of this economic crisis?

>> The Prime Minister Yes, indeed. I would be only too happy to

study the documents to which the right hon. Gentleman refers.

>> Ian Blackford I am grateful to the Prime Minister for that

answer, and I am glad that he agrees that we need to take every action to study and

aid the economic recovery. I am sure he is aware that the Scottish advisory group has

called for an accelerated review of the devolved fiscal framework. Crucially, it has supported

a significant increase in access to capital to stimulate an investment-led recovery in

Scotland. Scotland can make different choices and invest in a strong recovery, but we can

only do it with the necessary financial powers. Our First Minister and our Finance Secretary

have already made a request for more borrowing powers. Will the Prime Minister implement

the recommendations of those business leaders and give the Scottish Parliament the economic

powers it needs to fuel a recovery in the wake of the pandemic, or will he put Scotlands

economic recovery at risk?

>> The Prime Minister I respectfully remind the right hon. Gentleman

that, as part of our UK campaign against the coronavirus, Scotland has so far received

£3.8 billion in Barnett consequentialsa fact that I am sure is seldom off his lips

in his discussions with SNP colleagues. We will continue to invest massively in Scotland

because Scotland, like the whole of the UK, benefits from being part of the oldest and

most successful political partnership anywhere in the world. I congratulate the SNP, by the

way, on its U-turnwhich could be copied with advantage by our friends on the Opposition

Front Benchon education and getting all kids into school.

>> Robbie Moore (Keighley) (Con) The people of Keighley and I are sick of drug

gangs openly selling drugs on Keighleys streets and grooming young, innocent children

to do their dirty work. Can the Prime Minister update me on what progress is being made to

deliver on our manifesto commitment to ensure that West Yorkshire police have the resources

and personnel they need to tackle those drug dealers, who are infecting Keighleys soul?

>> The Prime Minister My hon. Friend is absolutely right to point

out the evil that is done by drug gangs around the whole country. County lines operations

have spread across our country, and we must roll them up. That is why we are tackling

them directly with every technological resource at our disposal, and that is why we are making

sure that we invest in another 20,000 police officers going to Keighley and across the

country as well.

>> Liz Saville Roberts (Dwyfor Meirionnydd) (PC)

Diolch yn fawr, Mr Llefarydd. Covid-19 has now broken out in three Welsh food factories.

There are 200 cases in Llangefni in Ynys Môn, 70 in Wrexham and 34 in Merthyr Tydfil. A

plant in Germany has also seen 1,500 workers test positive. The difference, of course,

is that German employees get sick pay worth 100% of their salary. Here, workers get sick

pay worth on average perhaps 20% of their salary, so they lose 80% of their salary.

These are low-paid workers. For any future local lockdown to succeed, people will need

to be supported. Will the Prime Minister now commit to local furlough-like schemes for

self-isolating workers?

>> The Prime Minister As I said in my statement yesterday, the coronavirus

job retention schemethe furlough schemeas well as what we have done for self-employed

people, which has also been considerable, and the expansion of universal credit have

been massive commitments by our Government to the workforce of this country. We will

continue to make those commitments and, as I said yesterday, if we have to move backobviously

we do not want toto local lockdowns, or indeed a national lockdown, nobody should

be penalised for doing the right thing. So there is the right hon. Ladys answer.

>> CarolineAnsell  (Eastbourne)  (Con) Eastbournes dependence on tourism and its

position as a coastal community mean that it has been particularly hard hit. Indeed,

this very weekend we were to stage our international tennis tournament, which puts us on the map

and brings in millions of pounds. In that light, may I ask my right hon. Friend the

Prime Minister to look at a reduction in VAT so that the hospitality sector can get back

on its feet and be part of the recovery to get our country moving?

>> The Prime Minister I will certainly look at all proposals that

my hon. Friend makes on taxation. As she must know, they are a matter for the Chancellor

and for the next Budget, although what we have already done is give business rates holidayspushing

back business rates right until the end of next yearand huge coronavirus loans, bounce-back

loans and grants of £25,000 for every business. What we will also do is support tourism across

the whole of the UK, and I hope that she will put the welcome sign above Eastbourne this

summer, so that people can enjoy its attractions.

>> Jessica Morden (Newport East) (Lab) [V] In order to access benefits quickly, people

with unpredictable terminal conditions, such as motor neurone disease, are having to prove

that they have six months or less to live, and they risk losing their benefits altogether

if they live longer than three years. A year has now passed since the Government announced

their review into access to benefits for terminally ill people, but there is still no progress.

When are the Government going to act?

>> The Prime Minister We have massively increased our spending on

universal credit, but the hon. Lady raises an important point about access to benefits

for terminally ill people, and I will undertake, if I may, Mr Speaker, to revert to her as

soon as possible by writing.

>> Aaron Bell (Newcastle-under-Lyme) (Con) I have the honour of representing the market

town of Newcastle-under-Lyme, and I am very pleased to inform the Prime Minister that

our markets are now back. However, the town is also very proud of its hospitality sector.

It has purple flag status, recognising the quality of its early-evening and night-time

economythe pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafés. I know that they will hugely welcome

what the Prime Minister said yesterday, but he knows they will need further support in

the months ahead. Can I ask him what the Government intend to do to support the hospitality sector?

>> The Prime Minister I refer my hon. Friend to what I said to our

hon. Friend the Member for Eastbourne (Caroline Ansell) just now. We will continue to support

the hospitality sector in all the ways that I have described, but, of course, what could

also happen is that people in Newcastle-under-Lyme could be encouraged to enjoy themselves sensibly,

in a covid-secure way, and keep the purple flag flying above it.

>> Dr Philippa Whitford (Central Ayrshire) (SNP) [V]

The ongoing impact of covid on international travel threatens over 100,000 jobs in the

aerospace industry, including hundreds in my constituency. Will the Prime Minister commit

to protecting vital aerospace jobs and invest in a green aviation recovery to reduce future

carbon emissions?

>> The Prime Minister The hon. Lady has an extremely important point.

It is one that we are working on very intensively now in Government, so that we use the opportunity

of this crisis to bounce forwards with new low-carbon technology that will continue to

drive the UKs formidable aerospace industry.

>> Alberto Costa (South Leicestershire) (Con) I have been contacted by Cotesbach and Shawell

parish councils, along with the excellent Harborough District councillor Jonathan Bateman,

about a proposed new waste processing facility in my patch. All I ask the Prime Minister

is if he would help me organise a meeting with the relevant Minister, so that I can

put forward the views of my constituents on this issue.

>> The Prime Minister We have of course invested a huge amount in

south Leicester. The local growth fund is expected to deliver 2,700 jobs and 5,000 new

homes, but, as I am sure the House will understand, this is a planning decision, with which this

Government obviously cannot involve themselves.

>> Mohammad Yasin (Bedford) (Lab) [V] Public Health England and the joint biosecurity

centre are undergoing a deep dive in Bedford to understand why the infection rate in my

constituency is so high. The pillar 2 commercial mass-testing cases are still not being included

in the individual totals for England. How does the Prime Minister know that the people

of Bedford and Kempston are safe to embrace his new lockdown-easing measures when he does

not know how many people are infected with coronavirus?

>> The Prime Minister As I think the Leader of the Opposition himself

confirmed just now, we do have a pretty good estimate of what is happening in the country.

Overall, we think the numbers have moved down from, say, one in 400 four weeks ago to maybe

one in 1,700 today. The incidence continues to decline across the country. Where there

are particular outbreaks and particular hotspots, such as in Bedford or elsewhere, we now have

the resources of our test and trace operation and the joint biosecurity centre, which are

getting better and better the whole time, to implement those local crackdowns and cluster-busting

operations.

>> Rob Butler (Aylesbury) (Con) Many market traders and independent business

owners in Aylesbury have told me how much they appreciate the tremendous help that they

have received from the Government during the coronavirus crisis, but we do know that, sadly,

many people will still lose their jobs in the months ahead. I wonder if my right hon.

Friend could ensure that Government Departments will work together to provide both the resource

and expertise that are necessary for people to learn new skills so that they are fully

equipped to take on new and different types of work in the future.

>> The Prime Minister Yes, indeed. I thank my hon. Friend for what

he is doing to represent his young constituents. It is vital that we invest in peoples skills

during what will unquestionably be economically difficult times. We are not just investing

in training through our new £2.5 billion national skills fund: we also want to encourage

as many in-work placements as possible and get people the live experience that they need.

>> John Spellar (Warley) (Lab) Prime Minister, the rehabilitation of offenders

is supported right the way across the political spectrum, but the current operation of the

Disclosure and Barring Service is a major obstacle to people turning their lives around.

It is inefficient, unfair and, frankly, discriminatory. The Lammy report dealt with this in some depth

nearly two years ago, so we do not need any more commissions or inquiries. We need action

and an end to the endless Home Office obstruction and delay. You can break the logjam, Prime

Minister. Will you do it?

>> The Prime Minister The right hon. Gentleman raises an incredibly

important point. Any MP will have had very hard cases caused by the DBS system. It is

important for the protection of children and young people, but we are considering the Supreme

Courts judgment and will set out our opinion in due course.

>> RuthEdwards  (Rushcliffe)  (Con) May I welcome my right hon. Friends announcement

yesterday that we can start to reopen our economy? Will he join me in praising the fantastic

charities and volunteers across Rushcliffe, including the West Bridgford Community Helpers,

Cotgrave Super Kitchen and the Friary, who have worked so hard to support vulnerable

people throughout the lockdown?

>> The Prime Minister I have absolutely no hesitation in commending

and congratulating all the groups that my hon. Friend mentionsthe Friary, the Cotgrave

Super Kitchen and West Bridgford Community Helpers. I congratulate them all.

>> Sammy Wilson (East Antrim) (DUP) The Prime Minister stated that when we leave

the EU at the end of this year Northern Ireland will still remain a full part of the United

Kingdom. But I have in my hand a letter received by the management of the port of Larne only

this week, stating that it has to prepare to become a border control post, and 14 acres

of land has been looked at for car parking, for lorry parking and for construction. There

is a sense of urgency, as the proposals have to go to the EU by the end of the month. Can

the Prime Minister explain how Northern Ireland can remain a full part of the United Kingdom

if people coming from the rest of the UK into Northern Ireland have to pass through a border

control post? Would he advise management to tear this letter up as well?

>> The Prime Minister I have not seen the letter the right hon.

Gentleman describes, but I can tell him absolutely categorically that there will be no new customs

infrastructure for the very simple reason that, under the protocol, it is absolutely

clear in black and white that Northern Ireland is part of the customs territory of the whole

of the United Kingdom. We will be joining the whole of the United Kingdom in our new

independent trade policy and doing free trade deals around the world.

>> Stephen Crabb (Preseli Pembrokeshire) (Con) Right now across the country, there are a

lot of employers speaking to their staff about redundancies ahead of the furlough scheme

unwinding. Sadly, for many families, it will be a hard landing, moving from furlough to

benefits. I know that my right hon. Friend has done a huge amount already, and he deserves

enormous credit for it, but can I really encourage him, as he thinks about his going for growth

strategy, also to consider ways to strengthen the safety net at this time?

>> The Prime Minister I thank my right hon. Friend, and he is quite

right that there will be tough times ahead for people and for families. That is why we

have massively increased universal credit. We stand by, as we have throughout this crisis,

to help the British people through it.

>> Janet Daby (Lewisham East) (Lab) [V] I have been contacted by hundreds of my constituents

about racial inequality in the UK. We had the Lammy review of the justice system, we

had the race disparity audit in the workplace, and we now have the independent review of

the Windrush scandal. What is the Prime Ministers timeframe for implementing those recommendations?

>> The Prime Minister Actually, we are getting on with implementing

a huge number of the recommendations we have already had. Sixteen of the Lammy recommendations

have been implemented. A further 17 are in progress; two of them we are not progressing.

The Home Secretary will set out further what we are going to do laterbefore recessabout

Windrush with Wendy Williamss report, and we will go on with our cross-governmental

commission to ensure that we stamp out racism and discrimination across this country and

throughout our system of government. We take it exceptionally seriously, and I am glad

that the hon. Lady raised it.

>> Ian Levy (Blyth Valley) (Con) As we exit the covid crisis, we will need

essential minerals to supply the UKs steel, cement and brickworks, which will help build

our homes, hospitals and infrastructure of the future. Mining them here in the UK in

a sustainable way is not just better for the environment but reduces reliance on foreign

imports. Will my right hon. Friend please assure the people of Blyth Valley that he

and his Government will do all they can to encourage investment and support jobs in this

area?

>> The Prime Minister Absolutely. I can certainly say to my hon.

Friend and to the people of Blyth Valley that we are going to do absolutely everything we

can in the course of our infrastructure revolution to ensure that UK steel manufacturers are

at the front of the queue for the great projects that we are going to construct. We have already

identified about £3.8 billion worth of opportunities.

>> Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields) (Lab) My constituent Elizabeth Smurthwaite contracted

coronavirus in her care home and was refused admission to hospital. This Governments

policy of discharging patients with coronavirus into homes has led to over 16,000 deaths.

Sadly, Elizabeth has since passed away. Last week, the Health Secretary said that he accepted

responsibility for these deaths in our care homes. Does the Prime Minister?

>> The Prime Minister Of course this Government accept responsibility,

and I accept responsibility, for everything that has happened throughout this crisis,

but I will say that what happened with the discharge of patients into care homes was

all done according to clinical decisions, as the NHS has confirmed, and actually there

was a 40% reduction between January and March in the number of people going from the NHS

into care homes. Thankfully, we are now seeing a massive reduction, thanks to the efforts

of care workers and our care home action programme, to get the numbers of deaths in care homes

down to the levels we would expect to find this year.

>> Mrs Flick Drummond (Meon Valley) (Con) Last week, fatal conflict resumed in Ladakh

on the line of actual control between India and China. What are the implications for British

interests of a dispute between a Commonwealth member and the worlds largest democracy

on the one side, and a state that challenges our notion of democracy on the other?

>> The Prime Minister My hon. Friend is absolutely right to draw

the attention of the House to a very serious and worrying situation, which we are monitoring

closely. Perhaps the best thing I can say to her is that we are encouraging both parties

to engage in dialogue on the issues on the border and sort it out between them.

>> Matt Rodda (Reading East) (Lab) The last few days have been very difficult

for our town. I offer my deepest condolences to the families of those who died in the dreadful

attack in Forbury Gardens on Saturday evening. It is impossible to imagine what they are

going through. My thoughts are also with the injured and their families, and with all those

who have been affected by this terrible attack. I thank Thames Valley police and the other

emergency services for their swift and effective response and for the incredible bravery shown

by officers. Will the Prime Minister ensure that the investigation now receives all the

resources it needs and that our town is properly supported? We have a strong and diverse community.

We can and we will get through this together.

>> The Prime Minister Yes, indeed. I thank the hon. Member for his

question and for how he expressed it, because I think the whole House shares his feelings

of support for the police and acknowledges their bravery in running towards danger, as

well as that of the members of the public who themselves intervened. It was a really

extraordinary moment, but it was also an appalling crime and an appalling tragedy.

Obviously there is a case that must now be properly proceeded with, and I just make two

comments. First, if there are any lessons that we need to learn about the way we handle

things in the future, we will of course learn those lessons and this Government will act

in this Parliament. Secondly, as I said yesterday to the House, and I think it is a common view,

we will not let this kind of attackthis kind of senseless murderdistract us or

in any way allow us to be intimidated or to change our way of life.

The Description of Prime Minister's Questions: 24 June 2020