Rishi Sunak slams ‘superficial’ Keir Starmer at final PMQs clash before summer recess – with Tories braced for triple by-election pain tomorrow as premier’s personal ratings hit new low
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The premier slammed the Labour leader as ‘superficial’ as they squared up over how to improve the struggling NHS.
Sir Keir trolled that health service waiting lists were still rising none months after Mr Sunak took over in Downing Street.
But Mr Sunak shot back that he was focused on ‘reforms’ while Sir Keir was busy making political points.
The exchanges came as Tories brace for triple by-election pain in the contests happening tomorrow.
Senior figures fear they are doomed to lose former strongholds in Selby & Ainsty and Somerton & From – while Boris Johnson’s old seat of Uxbridge & South Ruislip is on a knife edge.
In a grim sign for the Conservatives, YouGov polling released today suggested that Mr Sunak’s personal ratings have fallen to the lowest level since he become PM.
Rishi Sunak (left) and Keir Starmer (right) faced off at the final PMQs before summer recess
In a grim sign for the Conservatives, YouGov polling released today suggested that Mr Sunak’s personal ratings have fallen to the lowest level since he become PM
Kicking off hostilities in the Commons this afternoon, Sir Keir asked: ‘When the Prime Minister took office nine months ago, the NHS waiting had 7.2 million people on it, what’s the number today?’
Mr Sunak replied: ‘The reason that the NHS waiting lists are higher today than they were then – after actually being stable for the first months as we put in place new initiatives – is very simple, and that’s because the NHS has been disrupted by industrial action.
‘We’ve put very clear plans in place to bring down waiting lists in urgent and emergency care, and primary care and ambulances, and out patients and electives.
‘Those plans were working, and will continue to work, but we do need to end the industrial action, so I’d ask (him) if he does care about bringing the waiting lists down, does he agree with me that consultants and junior doctors should accept the pay deal that the Government offered?’