Keir Starmer to break tradition to front PMQs while Boris Johnson is away

PUBLISHED: 09:18 21 April 2020 | UPDATED: 20:09 21 April 2020

Keir Starmer speaks at the Labour Leadership Hustings at Cardiff City Hall. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Keir Starmer speaks at the Labour Leadership Hustings at Cardiff City Hall. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

2020 Getty Images

Labour leader Keir Starmer will break tradition and take on the prime minister’s replacement, Dominic Raab, in a round of Prime Minister’s Question on Wednesday afternoon.

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Usually, the leader of the opposition will appoint his deputy to take to the dispatch box when the prime minister is away, but these unprecedented times have called that move into question.

A Labour source told POLITICO: “Dominic Raab is acting prime minister, so this isn’t a usual situation where the PM is absent for one week.”

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The government is yet to clarify if Raab will answer questions in the Commons or via video link from his desk at the Foreign Office. Starmer will pose questions via a teleconference.

Parliament resumes business on Tuesday in what will be its first ever “virtual” sitting - breaking more than 700 of parliamentary tradition of debating in chamber.

This is the first sitting since March 25 when MPs broke up for Easter break.

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