PMQs sketch: Rishi Sunak is confronted over the NHS so naturally talks about strikes

I think we’ve all been in situations where we’ve heard a difficult question and chosen to ignore it.

Heading out and your parents are asking what time you’ll be be back? Bye mum, see you later! How many drinks did you have? A lovely time thanks for asking. Will you apologise for the crisis in the NHS? You are in the pockets of his union paymasters!

Deflection has always been a huge part of Prime Minister’s Questions, but there used to be some attempt at an answer, or at least to use a relevant dead cat.

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Sir Keir Starmer had given the example of a woman with cancer who collapsed and died at her home, and then gave a hypothetical example of a person suffering chest pains and waiting for an ambulance.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.

The Prime Minister had several options here. He could discuss funding for the NHS, his hope to improve conditions or insist the UK Government was already working on it.

Instead, he went straight for the Labour leader, going off about the NHS in Wales, before asking Sir Keir why he was denying those families the guarantee of emergency life-saving care, as if he was rushing down blocking ambulances himself, as opposed to drastically under funding them.

The Prime Minister is a man of detail, but he had perhaps forgotten the most important fact when approaching his PMQs prep – he is the Prime Minister.

Labour might not have any semblance of a plan, a question Sir Keir fails to hear whenever it is asked, but they are at least asking for things to be better.

Mr Sunak instead tried to pin the blame on literally anyone, but the Government.

The Prime Minister did all of this while at the same time accusing Labour of playing political games, having had the temerity to say things could perhaps improve.

This, of course, came after Tory HQ photoshopped Sir Keir in the pocket of Mick Lynch, the RMT boss, a union that does not fund Labour, has been deeply critical of its leadership and who has not had any support back from it.

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PMQs as ever had no real answers, and a Prime Minister using his serious voice to say very little at all.

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