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In a Commons first, the Prime Minister will take part in the session via video link as the Labour leader fires questions over from inside the Chamber. Mr Johnson is currently undergoing a 14 day period of self-isolation in Downing Street after coming into contact with Tory MP Lee Anderson, who later tested positive for COVID-19. Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsey Hoyle, stressed the need for the Prime Minister to take part in the weekly debate and insisted virtual participation was the next alternative.
Speaking to Sky News he said: “Of course it’s always second best. I love the eyeball to eyeball.
“I love the excitement of the chamber, I love the power of the chamber.
“The fact is, to miss PMQs would be the deficit I don’t believe we can afford. Of course, it’s not the preference, it’s certainly second best, but it still goes ahead – that’s what matters.”
The Prime Minister is set to face another barrage of questions over his handling of the pandemic after almost 600 further deaths were recorded in the latest 24 hour period.
England is now 13 days into a nationwide lockdown and Mr Johnson is likely to face questions over an exit strategy, with Christmas fast approaching, as well as the roll-out of a vaccine.
Mr Johnson is also set to come under increasing scrutiny over the spending of taxpayers’ money during the crisis following a damning report.
The National Audit Office found firms recommended by MPs, peers and ministers’ offices were given priority in securing deals for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
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The investigation added by July 31 more than 8,600 contracts with a value of £18 billion had been awarded to secure supplies and services – including £10.5bn without any competition process.
Speaking earlier this morning, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “We had to do an enormous amount of work very fast to secure PPE and that’s what we did, and I’m not going to apologise for the fact that quite rightly we made that effort.”
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