PMQs: Cuts, cuts, cuts - Corbyn attacks on council funding

PUBLISHED: 13:45 21 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:47 21 March 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.

PA Wire/PA Images

Jeremy Corbyn went on council funding ahead of the local elections - but didn't quite land a knock out blow.

It might have appeared to be a strange line of questioning at first glance but Corbyn and his team are quite right to challenge the prime minister on funding.

The only problem he faced in a lively exchange across the dispatch box was that for every example of a failing Tory council there is a Labour one Theresa May could lob back at him.

But this issue has Tories worried – especially with local elections looming. Many Tory-led councils have frozen council tax or at least not increased it in the manner some Labour ones have. This has an obvious impact on funds and some services are suffering.

In ominous tones across Westminster Tory MPs are suggesting bust Northamptonshire Council won’t be the last. The exchanges were basically Corbyn saying “give more money to councils” and May replying “Tory councils cost you less”.

This back and forth went along as you might expect until May snapped and threw de-selections and claims of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party at Corbyn. That just about crawled her a score draw.

No Brexit then – but when has the Labour leader ever led on that topic at PMQs?

So it fell to the SNP’s Ian Blackford to pick up the baton. But he went on Cambridge Analytica.

Finally though the SNP’s Drew Hendry mentioned Brexit – and more specifically fishing. He labelled the transitional period deal agreed by David Davis as the “worst deal imaginable”.

The prime minister replied: “We will be working with the industry to ensure we do see a bright future. We will take back control of our waters, we won’t see British fisherman unfairly denied access to other waters – that is a Conservative Party committed to coming out of the Common Fisheries Policy, His party want to stay in.”

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