Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Live Reporting

Edited by Johanna Howitt

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from us

    That's where we end our coverage from Westminster for today.

    Our writers were Arryn Moy, Doug Falconer, Emma Owen, Kate Whannel, and Sinead Wilson.

    The next PMQs will be on Wednesday 20 October - as Parliament goes in to a three-week recess to make way for the political party conference season.

    Do join us then.

  2. Analysis

    Conservative v Labour: The battle lines are clear

    Adam Fleming

    Chief political correspondent

    That PMQs felt different - that is partly down to Angela Rayner's presentation style in the House of Commons.

    Let's be honest, she is much funnier than Keir Starmer.

    And I hope Dominic Raab had a good time on his holiday in Crete because that holiday is going to potentially follow him around for the rest of his political career.

    On the serious stuff, we are getting quite use to the battle lines between the parties.

    Labour is talking about the increase in energy bills, the removal of the £20 a week rise to universal credit, then from next April the rise in National Insurance to pay for the health and social care levy.

    Labour are bundling all that together saying there is going to be a cost of living crisis.

    The government is responding by saying we are protecting you with the energy price cap and when it comes to jobs and wages, the economy is booming for some people.

    Both those things might be true at the same time, but by the end of the winter which one of those narratives will have won out?

  3. PMQ - what did we learn?


    Dominic Raab and Angela Rayner deputised for Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer for today's PMQs:

    • Angela Rayner said the PM has made "absolutely zero progress" in securing a trade deal with the US
    • Dominic Raab said youth employment and economic growth are rising.
    • Rayner said ministers are making it "harder for working families to get by" with National Insurance rises and cuts to universal credit, but Raab said the £20 a week top-up to the benefit was only ever meant to be temporary
    • A worker on £18,000 with lose £1,000 a year, and more people will be pushed into poverty, Rayner said, claiming it's the equivalent to the average annual energy bill
    • Raab said consumers are the government's number one priority and ministers will ensure energy supplies are maintained
    • SNP's Kirsten Oswald called for an emergency energy payment to help people on low pay facing bills that are set to "sky rocket". Raab said several issues she raised were the responsibility of the Scottish Government
    • Dominic Raab said he would commit to bringing in a new Victims' Bill - he said he looked at plans for legislation "on day one" in his new role as justice secretary, which he combines with being deputy prime minister.
  4. Reality Check

    Labour's claim on costs to shop workers

    At Deputy Prime Minister’s Questions, Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner said to Dominic Raab: “His government chose to cut the income of a worker on £18,000 a year by over £1,100.”

    She gave the example of a shop worker.

    To get to this figure, £1,040 would come from the loss of the £20 a week increase to universal credit.

    And from next April, a worker earning £18,000 a year would be paying an extra £105 in National Insurance – as part of the rise in the rate of NI to help fund health and social care announced by the government.

    View more on twitter
  5. Universal credit: Ex-footballer says 'people really are struggling'

    Gary Neville says the government should make the £20 top-up of universal credit permanent.

    Speaking earlier on BBC Radio 5 Live, Neville - the former Manchester United player who is a supporter of the Labour party - said people need equal opportunities and shouldn't have to choose between "heating and eating".

    View more on twitter
  6. Could the UK join the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement?

    Dharshini David

    Economics Correspondent

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets US President Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House
    Image caption: Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets US President Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House

    Brexit gave the UK the freedom to strike its own trade deals - and accounting for £1 in every £6 of British trade, a pact with the US was the ultimate prize.

    But Whitehall officials have for months been scrabbling for an alternative after the Biden administration indicated it was in no hurry to resume talks.

    Joining the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) could give the UK deeper benefits on some goods and digital trade with North American economies.

    But it has limited coverage of what is the UK's biggest strength when it comes to selling to America, namely services. Economists say the overall gains from joining USMCA may be very limited, perhaps less than 0.1% of GDP

    And what would the price be?

    The UK already has deals with Canada and Mexico, it would have to rely heavily on American cooperation to join this trade club - and one where the rules have already been set, and hasn’t allowed for new members.

    America's price of admission may include a hurdle already encountered: standards surrounding food and agricultural goods

    For President Biden is explicit that his priority is US workers, not least its farmers.

    He is also clear that domestic issues take precedence. Even if the UK does want to sign up to USMCA, it may still be at the back of a queue - simply to get its application considered.

  7. Reality Check

    Raab claim on US travel ban lifting

    Responding to criticism from Labour that the prime minister had made "zero progress" in securing a UK-US free trade deal on his trip to the US, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said: “Because of the engagement we’ve had with the US, they have immediately given us the boost to trade and businesses by reinstating travel from the UK to the US.”

    It’s true that President Biden announced this change yesterday but it wasn’t just for the UK.

    The resumption of travel into the US from November is applies to fully vaccinated people from 33 countries.

    They include China, India, Brazil and most of the European Union (countries in its passport-free Schengen area).

  8. CO2 supply crisis a surprise 'to a lot of people' - Kwarteng

    Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng also admitted that the recent crisis in CO2 supply came as a surprise to "a lot of people".

    “With regards to the CO2 situation, it was abundant it was very cheap and I think a lot of people were surprised at what happened," he told the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee.

    "We very rapidly dealt with that situation I met with the CEO of the relevant company twice - on Sunday and again on Monday, once each - and we have come up with a solution, which I have to stress is very much something that is a short term support.

    "There is no question of us essentially writing a cheque to this company indefinitely."

    Asked about the three-week limit on support for CF Fertilisers he says in a critical intervention you have to have a way of exiting that arrangement.

    "It's not a case of just trying to nationalise it or supporting it indefinitely."

    He adds: "I'm confident that we can get other sources of CO2 in that period, there was an immediate crisis and the deal that we reached solved the immediate problem."

  9. Kwarteng: Government is prepared to deal with gas prices but structures 'are being tested'

    Kwasi Kwarteng

    Down the corridor during PMQs, the Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng was still answering questions from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee.

    He told the MPs that while he did not predict that gas prices "would quadruple four times in five months" the government does have structures in place to deal with "extreme situations".

    "Now those structures are going to be tested and that’s why we are here, and that’s why we are talking about possible contingency plans….but I reject the idea that somehow this was completely unexpected and that we were completely unprepared," he says.

    He adds it is "unfair to say this somehow just happened and we were completely at sea", but he does say there were other elements - such as the CO2 shortage - which were more novel.

  10. Analysis

    Raab and Rayner: The deputies lively takeover of PMQs

    Pete Saull

    Political Correspondent, BBC Westminster

    While the green benches weren’t as full as they usually are on a Wednesday lunchtime, the head-to-head between the two deputies was a lively affair.

    Labour’s Angela Rayner is a straight-talker - and her lines of attack prompted laughter on both sides of the House.

    The Conservatives guffawed at the suggestion that their party “does not care” about working people.

    Rayner asked how many days someone on a low income would have to work to pay for a luxury holiday in Crete.

    The former foreign secretary faced criticism last month, when he stayed on holiday as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.

    But facing questions about rising gas prices and the end to the universal credit uplift, he insisted that the government’s plan to increase employment and wages was working.

    The debate about the cost of living is likely to be a major feature of our politics as we head into the autumn and winter.

    Today’s 'deputy' PMQs was a chance to rehearse the arguments before the parties head off for their respective conferences.

    House of Commons
  11. Raab commits to delivering Victims' Bill

    The final question comes from Labour MP Anna McMorrin.

    She asks Dominic Raab - who is justice secretary as well as deputy prime minister - if he will deliver a Victims’ Bill.

    Raab says looked at plans "on day one" in his new post.

    He lists investments the government has made and says Labour voted against the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill.

    He says: "You can't stand up for victims unless you stand up for tough sentencing", he says.

    And that's it for today's deputy PMQs.

  12. Tory MP wants urgent renewal of seasonal worker visas

    Conservative MP Derek Thomas says he and fellow Cornish MPs want the seasonal agricultural workers visa scheme urgently renewed for next year - which he says would cover 30,000 people.

    Dominic Raab says the home secretary is being lobbied from "various quarters" and is very mindful of the impact of seasonal workers. He says the government will "get the right balance".

  13. Labour MP: Town halls know better than Whitehall about levelling up

    Labour's George Howarth, who's just returned from illness, says "town halls know better than Whitehall" when it comes to levelling up.

    He wants to know if the PM will host a cross-party summit in Downing Street with local government representatives and mayors to discuss how they can be empowered to unlock potential?

    Raab welcomes him back and says the agenda for levelling up has got to be a team effort with central and local government and mayors all involved.

    He says he supports the spirit of the question and will do everything he can to work with him.

  14. DUP MP criticises Biden's 'ill-informed' comments

    Carla Lockhart

    DUP's Carla Lockhart attacks what she calls the "ill-informed and partisan comments" from the US President.

    During a meeting with Boris Johnson, Joe Biden warned that peace in Northern Ireland must not be jeopardised as a result of complications caused by Brexit.

    She argues that "far from defending the Belfast agreement, the Northern Ireland Protocol is the single greatest danger to the Northern Ireland institutions".

    "A solution that restores Northern Ireland's place in the UK's internal markets is the only way to avert the collapse of the institutions," she says adding "a solution must be found in weeks rather than months."

    Dominic Raab replies that there needs to be "a smart, pragmatic approach" and tells MPs that "the president understands our view."

  15. Conservative MP pays tribute to father for 'One Punch Awareness Week'

    Dehenna Davison

    Conservative Dehenna Davison says much of the reason why she is standing in the chamber as an MP is to do with the death of her father from a single-punch assault.

    He is just one of many victims she says, and why she is marking "one punch awareness week".

    Will Raab lend his support she asks by joining her immediately after PMQs as supporters gather in Westminster Hall?

    Raab says he knows how much the campaign means to her personally and "of course" he will join her.

  16. London will benefit from levelling-up - Raab

    Labour's Barry Sheerman notes that the deputy prime minister represents one of the wealthiest constituencies in the country (that's Esher and Walton in Surrey).

    He asks if he "really" believes in levelling-up and the redistribution of wealth in the country.

    He also seeks assurances that Channel 4 will stay in Leeds and in the public sector.

    Dominic Raab replies that the levelling up agenda is not just about helping the Midlands and the north of England.

    He says London and the south-east will also benefit because pressure on resources will be eased.

  17. SNP questions government's net-zero commitments

    SNP's Deidre Brock asks exactly what does the UK government have against the Scottish government requiring real living wages for Scottish workers and net zero obligations in its green ports?

    Raab says net zero is "at the heart of everything we do".

    He says ministers have increased the national living wage to say the full-time worker £400 a year.

  18. SNP blames a ‘Tory cost of living crisis’

    Kirsten Oswald

    The SNP Westminster deputy leader calls for an “emergency energy payment” to help people on lower pay.

    Kirsten Oswald blames a “toxic combination” of cuts, tax rises and the “growing cost of Brexit”.

    She claims energy bills could “skyrocket” by £550 per household.

    Deputy PM Dominic Raab says several issues she raises were devolved to the Scottish government and he lists a series of financial help to lower paid families.

    She says his answer was “disappointing and perplexing” and adds that “warm words don’t heat homes”. He calls on her to "stop this scaremongering".