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Live Reporting

Gavin Stamp and Justin Parkinson

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodbye for now...

    BBC Politics

    That's where we'll end our coverage of this week's PMQs.

    As events get underway in Washington DC ahead of the Joe Biden's swearing in as the 46th President of the USA, our colleagues will bring you all the details of the inauguration here.

    Our coverage of this week's PMQs was brought to you by Gavin Stamp, Justin Parkinson, and Sinead Wilson. The editor was Johanna Howitt.

    Thanks for joining us.

  2. PMQs: A quick recap

    PMQs

    So what did we learn from today's Prime Minister's Questions?

    • The PM said the government's emergency Cobra committee will meet this afternoon to discuss flooding as Storm Christoph takes hold.
    • Labour leader Keir Starmer pressed the prime minister on the loss of police records from the national computer. The PM said the Home Office is "working round the clock" to restore them, but he admitted the government doesn't know how many convicted criminals have had their records deleted.
    • Starmer said the PM overruled his home secretary by refusing to shut the UK's borders last March when the pandemic took hold. Boris Johnson said the Labour leader is a "weather-vane" calling him "Captain Hindsight".
    • SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford accused the government of cosying up to Donald Trump and his "callous world view". The PM insisted the UK must have the "best possible" relationship with the US.
    • The SNP also asked the PM on trade deals with China, pushing Johnson to admit that that genocide is being committed against the Uighurs. The PM says he regards what is happening in China as "utterly abhorrent"
    • Johnson said he would like frontline workers such as the police to be prioritised for vaccination against coronavirus but that the government must follow the advice of the regulatory body that drew up the priority list.
  3. Analysis: An uncomfortable question time for the Home Office

    Nick Eardley

    Political correspondent

    That won’t have been a comfortable PMQs for officials and ministers in the Home Office.

    Keir Starmer tried to get into the detail of the implications of what the data deletion – of more than 400,000 records – will mean.

    The prime minister made clear the civil service is doing all it can to get those records back, but he couldn’t say how many investigations could be impacted

    There is also a growing debate over whether the UK should have closed its borders last March after the home secretary, in a leaked video, said she supported that approach.

    We didn’t get much clarity from Boris Johnson on why that didn’t happen.

    The PM made clear he thinks the approach now is one of the toughest in the world – but the debate over whether it should have been toughen earlier is going to continue.

  4. Reality Check

    Does the UK have the toughest border regime?

    Boris Johnson told MPs: “We have instituted one of the toughest border regimes in the world.”

    The UK tightened up its borders on Monday, when it closed the travel corridors from which travellers did not have to quarantine and reduced the number of jobs that were excluded from quarantine.

    And travellers arriving have only just started having to prove they have had a negative coronavirus test.

    If you’re looking for examples of tougher border regimes, Australia and New Zealand closed their borders to almost all visitors in March.

    Closer to home, the Isle of Man is only allowing returning residents to enter along with key workers essential to the preservation of life and critical infrastructure.

    You can read more about the border arrangements here.

  5. G7 summit will showcase Cornwall

    Johnson

    G7 summit in Cornwall will be an opportunity to "showcase a wonderful part of the UK" and bring the world together after the coronavirus pandemic, the PM says in reply to St Ives MP Derek Thomas.

    The PM list the "incredible technological developments" happening there - Newquay Space Port, and lithium mining, showing Cornwall "lead the way" with mining.

    "I think the Romans mined tin in Cornwall" the PM says, and he adds that Cornwall is at the heart of the 21st century green industrial revolution.

    And that's it - PMQs has ended.

  6. Officials doing best to deal with floods - PM

    Clarke

    Asked by Conservative Theo Clarke about the possible establishment of a flood control centre in Stafford, Boris Johnson says he has "every sympathy" for people there.

    He adds that the Environment Agency is doing everything it can to deal with the disruption from Storm Christoph.

  7. 'Structural racism' affecting vaccine rollout - MP

    Apsana Begum

    Labour's Apsana Begum says BAME communities, including the large Bangladeshi community in her East London constituency, have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and there are also now questions about the fair provision of vaccines.

    She urges the PM to recognise some of these disparities are down to "structural racism" in the UK.

    The PM says he does not agree with this but admits that more needs to be done to encourage those groups which are "vaccine hesitant" to get inoculated.

  8. We must fight obesity - Johnson

    PMQs

    Tory MP Andrew Lewer asks the PM to ensure that any changes to food labelling will not challenge freedom of speech and liberty.

    Boris Johnson says he will, as an "advocate" of such ideals, but morbid obesity is something that must be challenged.

  9. Should police be prioritised for the vaccine?

    Johnson

    The Conservative MP Jason McCartney asks if the PM agrees that the police should get priority for vaccination?

    Boris Johnson says he would like groups like the police to get their jabs as soon as possible but the government has to rely on the JCVI and the priority list it has recommended.

  10. UK 'working to free Zaghari-Ratcliffe'

    Saddiq

    Labour's Tulip Siddiq asks what reassurances the PM has had from Tehran that UK-Iranian prisoner Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe - her constituent - will be released from jail soon.

    The PM says the government is doing "everything we can" to end the "completely unjustified" incarceration.

  11. Fishing industry faces 'Eldorado' future - PM

    Bradshaw

    Ben Bradshaw challenges the PM about comments he has made about the impact on post-Brexit rules on the fishing industry and touring musicians, saying suggestions that there would be no extra forms to fill in or barriers to travel were simply not true.

    The PM says it is "absolutely true" that British firms are having to fill out more forms outside the single market but points out that there is less demand for UK fish exports on the continent as so many restaurants have been closed.

    He goes onto say that the UK is investing £100m in the fishing industry to help it exploit the "Eldorado" of new market opportunities and rising quota levels under the UK-EU trade deal.

  12. Analysis: Should the UK have shut its borders earlier?

    Nick Eardley

    Political correspondent

    In response to Keir Starmer earlier, Boris Johnson said that the UK had one of the toughest regimes in the world, but there are continuing questions over whether it should have had a tougher regime nine months ago.

    We didn’t get much clarity on whether and why the prime minister disagreed with the home secretary last March.

  13. PM hails 'enormous' potential of whole UK

    Streeter

    Conservative Sir Gary Streeter urges the government to invest more in infrastructure in every region of the UK, including south-west England.

    Boris Johnson responds that the potential there, and elsewhere, is "enormous".

  14. PM asked about impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland

    Hanna

    The SDLP's Claire Hanna asks the PM to be "straight" with people in Northern Ireland about the effect of Brexit on trade.

    The PM says the change is "going smoothly".

  15. Inoculate people against anti-Semitism, says PM

    Johnson

    Nicola Richards get another chance to ask her question and this time there are no technical gremlins.

    She notes that Holocaust Memorial Day is approaching and urges the PM to support schools in her West Midlands constituency being able to tune into a webinar with a Holocaust survivor next week.

    The PM agrees about this and talks about the "wretched virus of anti-Semitism", saying it has a tendency to re-appear and re-infect and the people need to be regularly "inoculated" against it.

  16. Condemn genocide in China urges SNP

    Back after a technical hiccup with his second question, the SNP Westminster leader, Ian Blackford asks if the UK will stop trade deals with countries who commit genocide?

    Is the PM prepared to stand up today, he asks and say that genocide is being committed against the Uighurs in China?

    The PM says he regards what is happening in China as "utterly abhorrent"

    What would Mr Blackford propose by way of foreign policy the PM asks?

  17. What about a Covid inquiry?

    Davey

    Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey asks about a possible inquiry into the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, the PM says now is not the time to deal with this, but adds that questions will of course be asked and answered.

  18. Can you hear me, asks Tory MP?

    Richards

    Tory MP Nicola Richards is next up but there are technical problems and she is left asking "can you hear me?".

    The Speaker urges the MP to speak now, saying the PM is desperate to hear the question.

    But it is no good and Ms Richards admits the Zoom link is not working and Sir Lindsay Hoyle says it is "time to move on".

    Hoyle
  19. UK 'must have best possible relations with US'

    Blackford

    Joining by video link, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford says people will "breathe a sigh of relief" when Donald Trump leaves office. He says the PM "cosied up" to the president and his "callous world view". He cites Boris Johnson's predecessor Theresa May's criticism of the cut to the international aid budget, calling the move "cruel".

    The PM says the UK must have the "best possible" relationship with the US. He adds that the country is leading others on climate policy and the transatlantic alliance will prosper.

    Blackford's second question is postponed by a technical glitch.