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Summary

  1. Prime Minister's Questions
  2. Leaders clash over public sector pay
  3. Corbyn says Tories 'floundering'
  4. May says Labour would 'bankrupt UK'

Live Reporting

By Jackie Storer and Alex Hunt

All times stated are UK

Watch: Key clips from PMQs

Watch: Could this be Conservative James Duddridge's first tie-less question at PMQs?
Watch: SNP's Hannah Bardell and Theresa May on FGM deportation case
Watch: Speaker John Bercow on MPs' behaviour in Commons
Watch: Corbyn and May on wage levels and living standards

That's all from our PMQs coverage for the day - but you can follow developments in the Commons and Lords - and the Westminster Hall debate on the changing state pension age for women - via our colleagues at BBC Parliament.

Wednesday recap

No-one could blame you for not paying too close attention when you could be soaking up some sunshine or watching the tennis today - so here's a round-up of what's been going on...

Watch: Minister close to tears during Grenfell statement

Housing minister Alok Sharma was visibly moved while speaking in Parliament about the Grenfell fire.

The MP had to pause on several occasions as he talked about the "harrowing" experiences of the victims and survivors. After he sat down, he was seen to wipe away a tear.

'Theresa May attempted to douse down expectation over public sector pay'

BBC News Channel

Norman Smith
BBC

BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith said Theresa May came under pressure during Prime Minister's Questions over the public sector pay cap.

He said there had been growing criticism from the "big beasts" of her Cabinet - Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Environment Secretary Michael Gove - that it could be eased without any tax rises.

Mrs May had tried to "douse down" any momentum or expectation that there is going to be any "early give" on public sector pay, he said.

Her message was the government needed to bring down the deficit, live within its means, because to do anything else would be "going down the road of Greece", he said.

Norman Smith said it was striking the PM had echoed the words used by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his speech to the CBI, that he would push back on easing off austerity.

He said she had told MPs there was a need to strike the right balance between taxpayers and public sector workers.

A key development on public sector pay was that firefighters are to to get a rise of up to 3%, which Norman said would prompt other public sector unions to think 'why can't we have 3%?'.

Listen: Grenfell crisis 'beyond competence of single borough'

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

The leader of the opposition on Kensington & Chelsea Council has welcomed the introduction of a Grenfell 'taskforce' to take over housing.

Robert Atkinson, who is the local Labour councillor for the ward containing Grenfell Tower, told Edward Stourton "this is a crisis which has gone beyond the competence of a single borough".

Mr Atkinson said it was important to "move at the pace that the survivors want us to" but that it would be necessary to "buy additional properties very quickly".

He added that the announcement regarding offers of houses felt like an attempt to "hurry the victims into making choices too early".

Uncertain housing situation 'rectified' - minister

Grenfell Tower statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Blackman
HoC

The SNP's Kirsty Blackman raises concerns over families "not having security in emergency accommodation they're in" and not knowing if they'll need to move.

The housing minister says: "I believe that has been rectified," acknowledging there had been problems with families being asked to move at short notice.

Minister asks Labour to respect pace of Grenfell Tower recovery

Grenfell Tower statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Responding to Labour's criticisms, Housing Minister Alok Sharma confirms the government is working to rehouse everyone.

But he stresses it's "not up to anyone else to determine pace at which they should move", and that process must be led by survivors themselves.

Labour: 'Whole families still in hostels' after Grenfell fire

Grenfell Tower statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow housing secretary John Healey says the government must acknowledge it has been "slow to act".

He tells the House "whole families who've lost everything are still in hotels and hostels" and claims only three have actually moved in to new homes.

He says he wants the new taskforce to work but asks how it will be overseen given the ongoing issues of trust.

Proposed firefighter pay rise defended

Norman Smith

Assistant political editor

Firefighter in central London
Reuters

The body responsible for awarding firefighters a potential 3% pay rise say they deserve the bigger increase.

Nick Chard, a spokesman for the National Employers group, said the organisation shared the view of firefighters that they deserved to be paid more and that is why the settlement was twice as high as originally planned.

We are firmly committed to ensuring higher levels of pay for firefighters as soon as possible, in the context of agreeing a deal on a new pay framework, which recognises fire authority and community needs around greater flexibility, and our shared aspirations in terms of increased pay for firefighters."

The decision to give fire fighters an increase above the 1% public sector pay cap seems certain to encourage other unions to press for similar increases.

The Fire Brigades Union said an offer from employers worth 2% on basic pay this year and a potential 3% from April 2018 showed the pay cap was "dead in the water".

Ministers say the fire fighters' deal does not amount to a breach of the pay cap as fire fighters are not covered by a pay review body.

BreakingMinister: 139 Grenfell Tower families found new housing

Grenfell Tower statement

House of Commons

Parliament

Sharma
HoC

Housing Minister Alok Sharma is updating the Commons on matters surrounding the Grenfell Tower fire - which has led to a special taskforce being sent in to manage some of Kensington and Chelsea Council's responsibilities.

He acknowledges the early response was "simply not good enough" but efforts to support survivors have been stepped up.

He says every family "ready to talk" to the housing team has been found new accommodation, and this represents 139 families, while a further 19 are "reluctant" to take up offers of help for "understandable" reasons including trauma.

No 10: Advice being sought on extremism report

Downing Street has been asked when the government will publish a Home Office report into the funding of extremist groups, commissioned by David Cameron in 2015.

There is growing pressure from Labour and other opposition parties for the report to be released.

They accuse ministers of "sitting on" the document amid speculation about what it has to say about the role of Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments although it is unclear whether the work has actually been completed.

A No 10 spokesman said: "Ministers are considering the advice on what they are able to publish in relation to that report and will update Parliament again in due course."

You can read more here

MP warns on wider impact of public sector pay rises

Urgent question

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative Bill Grant, who worked for the fire service in Scotland, asks if there's a risk that raising wages could cause a "spiral" in which inflation increases and properties are devalued.

Liz Truss agrees: "We need to make sure any pay rises are sustainable."

Baker: No need to 'reinvent' policy on Brexit

Brexit minister Steve Baker
Reuters

Asked about divisions in cabinet over Brexit, Steve Baker suggests that some people in government want to use the election result as an opportunity to "reinvent" policy on leaving the EU.

He says it would be a mistake to depart from the strategy that Theresa May set out in her Lancaster House speech.

Any talk of becoming a member of the EEA - which would give the UK access to the single market but require it to accept limited freedom of movement and contribute to EU budgets - would in his words be "blood in the water".

The UK cannot be a "rule taker" once it leaves the EU, he insists.

Ex-MP: Nothing for young people from Tories

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

Former Tory MP Ben Howlett, who lost his seat at the election, tells the BBC that the Conservatives need to have a "wider conversation" with young people if they are to trust the party.

There was "literally nothing" in the party's manifesto for young people, he argues on World at One, in terms of job opportunities and the hope of eventually getting on the housing ladder.

If his party simply thinks that reducing tuition fees will encourage young people to reconsider the party, then he says they are "missing the point" and much more profound thinking is needed.

Steve Baker tells the same programme that he does not agree with what he labels Mr Howlett's "Keynesian" economic thinking.

He says he has spoken to a lot of young people since becoming an MP and they tend to be "liberals of the old kind" - who believe in opportunity, freedom and the "joy that comes with fulfilling their own destiny" - the issue is how to make this a reality.

He goes onto to say that ministers have heard loud and clear what the public is saying on the pay cap but that macroeconomic policy cannot be "made on the hoof at prime minister's questions".

SNP compares pay cap to 'fair' rise in Scotland

Urgent question

House of Commons

Parliament

Gray
HoC

A little earlier, the SNP's Neil Gray accused the government of "stonewalling" on this issue, contrasting it with "the fair pay rise in Scotland".

Liz Truss reiterated the pay is reviewed by independent bodies and this is the "responsible approach".

Government to do 'whatever necessary' over Grenfell

BBC Radio 4

The government is determined that Grenfell families don't have to move twice, Brexit minister Steve Baker tells the BBC, after it emerged that only 14 had accepted initial offers of rehousing.

Speaking on the World at One, Mr Baker says the government is prepared to do "whatever is necessary" to ensure those whose homes were destroyed in the fire are found somewhere new to live and he does not rule out purchasing properties for the purpose.

He rejects suggestions that survivors are being rushed into decisions about their future, saying that the government is determined to "move at the families' pace".

For Labour, shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth says that Sir Martin Moore-Bick, the judge who is heading the public inquiry, needs to "build confidence" in the probe by taking on board the views and suggestions of those directly affected.

Asked whether he agrees with criticism of the judge's background by some of his colleagues, Mr Ashworth demurs and says he is "politely" trying to make the point that he doesn't.

Liz Truss: My pay has gone up and down

Urgent question

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour's John Mann asks Liz Truss how much her pay and productivity has gone up since 2010, questioning whether the country can afford her.

She tells him her salary has "gone up and down" but is set independently.

Tory MP: Nurses' pay structure isn't working

Urgent question

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP and former nurse Maria Caulfield says the system of increments for progressing nurses' pay differs between NHS trusts and the structure "isn't working".

She says it's just as pressing an issue as the pay cap.

The chief secretary to the Treasury acknowledges: "We need to reform public services and make sure people have chance to progress."

PMQs recap: Jeremy Corbyn says government 'floundering' on pay cap

Jeremy Corbyn
BBC

Jeremy Corbyn has accused the Conservatives of "flip flopping and floundering" over public sector pay.

During PMQs, the Labour leader said that through the 1% pay cap the government was "recklessly exploiting the goodwill of public servants" and called for it to be scrapped.

Theresa May said the government would study pay review recommendations "very carefully" when they are made.

And she said Labour would "bankrupt our country" if Mr Corbyn became PM.

Read more

Sir Vince Cable: Scrap public sector pay cap to reflect 'basic economic reality'

Urgent question

House of Commons

Parliament

Cable
HoC

Lib Dem former business secretary Sir Vince Cable says there are "fundamental differences" between the time at which the pay cap was introduced and now.

He says it was brought in at a time of fear of large-scale unemployment and deflation, whereas now there's a chronic shortage of staff in public services and wages are being squeezed by rising inflation, and calls on the Treasury to drop the cap to reflect "basic economic reality".

Liz Truss tells him that wages are subject to independent review and she'll pay close attention to that.

BBC Any Questions: This week's line up

Pay rise would stoke inflation - Tory minister

The Daily Politics

Newly promoted Brexit minister Steve Baker insisted inflation would stabilise when the "one-off" fall in the value of the pound caused by the referendum "washes through".

But he argued that a 2% pay rise for public sector workers would impact on inflation, adding that it would be a "very expensive pay rise for the public finances".

Labour's shadow health secretary John Ashworth suggests Theresa May is hiding behind pay review bodies, when it is ministers that set their terms.

Ken Clarke hails public sector pay cap as 'sensible'

Urgent question

House of Commons

Parliament

Clarke
HoC

Conservative Ken Clarke praises the minister for "straightforwardly restating a sensible policy" which will help "bring the economy back into health again" especially in the context of Brexit uncertainty.

He adds any change at this point would be "a political disaster" which would allow the government to be accused of a U-turn.

Labour accused of 'talking down public services'

Urgent question

House of Commons

Parliament

Liz Truss replies that the public sector pay cap remains in place "because it is the responsible thing to do" and will enable improvements to public services.

She suggests "he knows perfectly well" fire service pay is dealt with separately in local government budgets.

She accuses Mr McDonnell of "talking down public services".

McDonnell attacks 'Cabinet of chaos'

Urgent question

House of Commons

Parliament

McDonnell
Hoc

When we ask a question to the Chancellor, we expect him to respond, John McDonnell responds to Ms Truss.

This confirms what commentators are saying, he says - it's a Cabinet of chaos rather than a government.

Is there a 1% pay cap still? This is the dictat that the pay review bodies are working to, he says.

"Who actually speaks for the government on this issue?" Mr McDonnell asks. "Daily fearful of a putsch, Number 10 backs down."

"What we've seen is Cabinet ministers scrapping in the school playground," he says.

Public sector works are angry because they have seen tax cuts for the rich and corporations, while their pay is cut.

Treasury insists public sector pay is 'fair'

Urgent question

House of Commons

Parliament

Truss
HoC

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss is responding to shadow chancellor John McDonnell's urgent question regarding government policy on public sector pay.

She says we all recognise public servants do "a fantastic job" and pay is designed to be "fair" to them, but must also guarantee services are sustainable in the long term.

She says wages are comparable to the private sector and pension entitlements are often better.

Several ministers have suggested they want the public sector pay cap, in place since 2013 following a two-year pay freeze, to be lifted, and some Conservative MPs have called for a change of direction after the Tories lost their majority in the general election.

But Downing Street has insisted the policy has not changed, with Chancellor Philip Hammond urging ministers to "hold their nerve".

PM pressed on fuel prices

House of Commons

Parliament

Catching up now on the final question at (the once again over-running) PMQs, Conservative Robert Halfon urged the PM to confirm that when the oil price fell it should be reflected in prices at the pumps for motorists.

Theresa May replied: "I'm pleased we've been able to hold down fuel duty," adding: "I think you're trying to tempt me down a path which I will not go down because as you know decisions are taken at the time of fiscal events."

Watch: John Pienaar's PMQs verdict

PM: Bereaved families have to fight to get justice

House of Commons

Parliament

Catching up now on the penultimate question at PMQs - Labour's Alison McGovern asked the PM to give the Commons a date for the publication of a report by Bishop James Jones, who was a key figure in the campaign to uncover the truth about the Hillsborough disaster.

Theresa May said she hadn't seen the report, but she had asked Bishop Jones to carry it out because she was concerned about the way in which bereaved families at Hillsborough had been treated over the years.

She said the government planned to introduce an independent public advocate who can act for bereaved families in cases of public disaster "because too many have to over many years fight to get justice".

Pay cap 'politically impossible to maintain'

The Daily Politics

Theresa May was looking "more relaxed and comfortable" during PMQs, reckons the BBC's Deputy Political Editor John Pienaar, "maybe the pressure is off now that she has fallen as far as she has".

But the public sector pay cap is "politically impossible to maintain", he adds, because of the pressure from within her own party.

It's the election all over again - with one difference...

The Daily Politics

On to the post-clash reaction.

"It was as if the election campaign hadn't ended", says Andrew Neil, with Jeremy Corbyn talking about public sector pay and Theresa May saying the country needs to live within its means.

The one difference, he adds, is that Mrs May made a "spirited defence" of Tory economic policy, something, he says, she didn't do during the campaign.

Corbyn and May clash on nurse numbers

Reality Check

Chart showing numbers of nurses in England
BBC

The prime minister and Labour leader have been throwing nurse numbers at each other.

Jeremy Corbyn said: "Last year there was a net loss of 1,700 nurses and midwives to the NHS."

Theresa May responded: "Contrary to what he says, we have 13,000 more nurses working in the NHS [in England] today compared to 2010."

Clearly they are quoting different statistics for different years. Mrs May's 13,000 figure for England is only true if you look just at nurses working on acute, elderly or general wards.

If you look at all areas of nursing, the number of staff - or the equivalent in terms of full-time hours - did increase between May 2010 and March 2017, but by a more modest 5,000.

Mr Corbyn's 1,700 figure is for the overall fall in the total number of nurses registered in the UK (not all of whom will be working) in the year to the end of March 2017.

You can read more about the number of nurses in this Reality Check.

Theresa May: SNP failing Scotland on the powers they have

House of Commons

Parliament

Theresa May was also asked questions about crime in smaller harbours, cinemas and again about "over-stretched and overworked" nurses who use food banks.

Conservative Andrew Bowie added that it was "utterly shameful" that the Scottish government had to go pleading to the European Commission for an extension to the farm payment deadline, which he said was "proof that the SNP is failing rural Scotland".

Speaker John Bercow intervened to say the prime minister was not responsible for the Scottish government.

Theresa May responded to that question by saying the SNP was "failing Scotland".

Jenny Chapman MP backs call for Sir Martin Moore-Bick to quit

BBC Radio 5 live tweets...

First tieless Conservative

House of Commons

Parliament

Duddridge
HoC
James Duddridge is the first Conservative to take advantage of more relaxed dress rules and ask a question without a tie

Watch: SNP MP quizzes May on poverty