POLITICS

Theresa May Dodges Jeremy Corbyn's 'People's Question Time' Session In Final PMQs

The PM didn't seem to have many answers

26/04/2017 14:08 BST | Updated 26/04/2017 16:11 BST

The PM didn’t have many answers.

PA Wire/PA Images
Theresa May faced Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs for the final time this Parliament 

Theresa May seemed to be short on answers as Jeremy Corbyn returned to a ‘People’s Question Time’ approach for his final showdown with the PM.

The Labour leader readopted his early PMQs tactic, reading out questions submitted by members of the public - including 88-year-old ‘Cybil’ and ‘Laura, a young primary school teacher’, on the housing crisis, NHS overcrowding and schools funding.

It was his last chance to quiz the Prime Minister before Parliament dissolves next week, but May did not appear keen to provide direct responses.

Instead, she ducked answers and used each question as an opportunity to hammer home the Conservatives’ key campaign message - repeatedly saying this election is a choice between “strong leadership” with her and “chaos” under Labour.

Corbyn responded by branding the Tories ‘strong against the weak and weak against the strong’, saying: “Far from building a strong economy, schools and our NHS are being cut, people can’t afford homes and millions can’t make ends meet.

“That doesn’t add up to a stronger economy for anyone.”

Among Corbyn’s questions was one from ‘Andy, a parent’, who said all three of his children, in their mid-20s, could not afford to move out of home.

“Isn’t this a crisis that many people are facing all over the country?,” the Labour leader asked.  

“Don’t we need a strategy that deals with it?”

May hit back, pointing out house-building starts fell by 45% under the last Labour government, and said twice as many council homes had been built under the Tories.

“That is a record of a Conservative government delivering on housing delivering for ordinary working families,” she added.

Corbyn also read out a question from ‘Maureen’, who said:  “We have been treated disgustingly.  Most of us women born in the 1950s will not be receiving our pension until we are 66, with no notification of this drastic change.  What can be done to help the WASPI women?”

The PM said the government had taken steps to help those hit by the changes by making extra funding available and limiting the time period covered.

She went on to hammer home again the message of a ‘clear choice’ between a ‘strong economy’ and a Labour party that would crash it.

May also kept her answer brief when responding to a question from Peter Lilley, the long-serving Hitchin and Harpenden MP from her own party.

The Leave supporter, who is standing down this election, praised the PM and asked if she agreed with him that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ in Brexit negotiations - a position May initially set out herself but later backed away from.

“It is right that we get on with the job,” she said.