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Theresa May mocks Jeremy Corbyn at pair's first PMQs

By Richard Wheeler

Published 21/07/2016

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn clashed in the Commons yesterday
Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn clashed in the Commons yesterday
Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn clashed in the Commons yesterday

Theresa May attacked Jeremy Corbyn as an "unscrupulous boss" who exploited Labour rules to further his career as the two clashed for the first time at Prime Minister's Questions.

Mrs May won loud cheers from the Conservative benches as she sought to twist the knife in the Labour leader over the turmoil in his party's ranks.

Repeatedly attacking Mr Corbyn, the new Prime Minister said yesterday she hoped to be answering questions from him "for many years to come".

The Labour leader questioned Mrs May about ending insecure work and also about Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's previous comments about black people.

He additionally claimed the Government's "long-term economic plan is clearly dead" and asked if Mrs May has a new one.

Prior to that, Mr Corbyn opened by congratulating Mrs May on becoming the country's second female Prime Minister.

"I hope you agree with me that this House and Prime Minister's Questions should be an opportunity to debate seriously the issues that face our country and our place in the world," he said.

Mrs May replied: "You refer to me as the second woman Prime Minister. In my years here in this House, I've long heard the Labour Party asking what the Conservative Party does for women - well, just keeps making us Prime Minister."

She did, however, welcome Mr Corbyn's comments on the tone of Prime Minister's Questions.

"I look forward to the exchanges you and I will have, and I hope we'll be having those exchanges over this despatch box for many years to come," the Prime Minister said.

Mrs May's strongest attack on came later in the session, as the Labour leader questioned her economic priorities.

He told Mrs May: "Austerity actually means people being poorer, services being cut and local facilities being closed.

"In your speech on the steps of Downing Street, you also addressed insecure workers, saying: 'You have a job, but you don't always have job security.'"

But making light of the Labour Party's internal turmoil, Mrs May replied: "You refer to the situation of some workers who might have some job insecurity and potentially unscrupulous bosses.

"I suspect there are many members on the Opposition benches who might be familiar with an unscrupulous boss, a boss who doesn't listen to his workers - a boss who requires some of his workers to double their workload and maybe even a boss who exploits the rules to further his own career. Remind him of anybody?"

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