Starmer asks Sunak if Suella Braverman was right to resign last week for breach of security. Sunak replies:
The home secretary made an error of judgement but she recognised that she raised the matter and she accepted her mistake.
The Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer welcomes Rishi Sunak and says the first British Asian prime minister is a “significant moment in our national story”.
It is “a reminder that for all the challenges we face as a country, Britain is a place where people of all races and all beliefs can fulfil their dreams” Starmer says. It’s part of what makes us all so proud to be British, he adds.
Dr Alan Whitehead (Lab) begins by congratulating Rishi Sunak on his new post and of being the first PM of a South Asian heritage.
He asks if Sunak has changed his mind about campaigning to prohibit the development of onshore wind, which he says is the cheapest form of power available to us in the country.
Sunak replies by saying that he “sticks by what we said in our manifesto”, adding:
The important thing is to focus on our long term energy security. That means more renewables, more offshore wind, and indeed more nuclear. That’s what this government wants.
Rishi Sunak begins his first PMQs with the standard statement about his engagements, that he had meetings with ministerial colleagues in addition to his duties in the House.
Rishi Sunak is about to begin his first Commons appearance as prime minister.
The foreign secretary, James Cleverly, defended Rishi Sunak’s decision to appoint Suella Braverman as home secretary after she resigned over security reasons one week ago.
Braverman handed in her resignation to then prime minister, Liz Truss, after sending a confidential email from her personal email address, breaking ministerial code.
Cleverly said Braverman had “made a mistake” and Sunak wished to see the home secretary ‘see through’ her robust plans for policing and immigration.
Labour has been granted an urgent question in the Commons later on Wednesday, with the party due to ask the home secretary Suella Braverman to make a statement on her resignation and reappointment.
The shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper will ask Braverman “to make a statement on her resignation and reappointment as home secretary”.
The Commons will hear the question after PMQ this lunchtime.
Rishi Sunak has been pictured leaving No 10 for the House of Commons to attend his first Prime Minister’s Questions.
The chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, announcing his decision to delay his fiscal statement, also defended the appointment of Suella Braverman as home secretary a week after she was forced out of the role.
Asked if he was happy with the reappointment and whether he trusted Braverman, he told reporters:
She apologised for her mistakes. She’s been fully accountable for those mistakes, she stepped down as home secretary. But from the point of view of people at home, who want stability in the economy, they also need to see a united Conservative party and that’s why the prime minister has put together a cabinet of all the talents.
The new environment secretary, Thérèse Coffey, has said that protecting the environment will be at the heart of her mission in her new role.
This may not seem like a significant statement but her predecessor, Ranil Jayawardena, initially claimed his role was mostly about supporting economic growth and cutting red tape for farmers.
Her statement could signal hope that she is moving away from divisive policies such as scrapping nature-friendly farming incentives, banning solar farms and attacking the RSPB. She has also vowed to work with environment groups to protect nature – perhaps meaning the tensions between the department and groups including the RSPB and national trust could be soothed.
She told the Guardian:
I am delighted to return to Defra, this time as secretary of state.
As the prime minister set out, protecting our environment is at heart of our manifesto. I will work closely with rural communities, farmers, industry and the champions of our environment to strengthen our natural environment and support our thriving food and farming sector. I look forward to resuming our work to protect nature and deliver a stronger rural economy.
The chancellor Jeremy Hunt has insisted postponing the fiscal statement was the right move to ensure the “very, very difficult decisions” required “stand the test of time”.
He told reporters:
The OBR also want to make sure that their forecasts are the most accurate possible and there have been a lot of changes even in the last 48 hours.
This is my recommendation to the prime minister as the best way to ensure that the decisions that we take, these very, very difficult decisions, are ones that stand the test of time and give us the best chance of giving people security over the mortgages, over their jobs, over the cost-of-living concerns that everyone has.
He added that he is willing to make “politically embarrassing” choices. He said:
I’ve demonstrated in the short time that I’ve been chancellor that I’m willing to take decisions very quickly and I’m willing to make choices that are politically embarrassing if they’re the right thing to do for the country, if they’re in the national interest.
Now we have a new prime minister and the prospect of much longer-term stability for the economy and the country. In that context a short two-and-a-half week delay is the best way we will make sure that it is the right decisions we take.