Jeremy Corbyn attends final PMQs as Labour leader

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Boris Johnson has paid tribute to Jeremy Corbyn, as he took to the despatch box for the last time as leader of the opposition this afternoon.

It comes as Parliament prepares to break for Easter recess a week earlier than planned due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg has tabled a motion for the House of Commons to rise until April 21, in a move backed by Labour as Covid-19 swept through Westminster.

By that time, Mr Corbyn will have been replaced by the winner of the ongoing Labour leadership contest.

His successor is due to be announced on April 4, with shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy all in the running.

Marking his rival’s final PMQs, the Prime Minister said: “It would be appropriate for me to pay tribute to him for his service to party and indeed to the country over the last four years in a very difficult job.

“We may not agree on everything but no one can doubt his sincerity and his determination to build a better society.”

Mr Corbyn thanked Mr Johnson for his “very kind remarks”, but did not appear too impressed by what he said sounded like “an obituary”.

He said: “I believe in a decent, socially just society.

“Just to let [Mr Johnson] know, my voice will not be stilled, I’ll be around, I’ll be campaigning, I’ll be arguing and I’ll be demanding justice for the people of this country and indeed the rest of the world.”

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle extended today’s PMQs to one hour in order to give MPs twice the time typically allotted scrutinise Boris Johnson over his coronavirus plans.

Mr Corbyn was granted 12 questions rather than the usual six.

The Coronavirus Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent and become law before the end of the day after MPs from all sides agreed to let it pass without formal votes.

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