PMQs start time: What time is PMQs today? How to watch

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Parliament had been in recess since mid-July, for the annual summer break, and resumed on Tuesday, September 1. MPs have returned to Westminster, and will today sit in on Prime Minister’s Questions. The summer break for the Commons and Lords has faced criticism for some at such a crucial point in the coronavirus outbreak – especially given the A-Level crisis last month.

Strict social distancing measures have been introduced at Westminster due to the pandemic, with only a certain number of politicians allowed in the Commons at once.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, hybrid proceedings were put in place to allow MPs to attend Westminster via video chat if needed.

However this has since ended, and so now Parliament has resumed, most MPs will be back in the capital as normal.

The House of Commons have made some changes to the way MPs can participate in parliamentary business in the Chamber during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More: ‘Naval battle’ warning as EU braces for life without UK waters

The four main changes in the House of Commons are:

  • Social distancing measures in the Chamber to meet public health guidelines
  • Call lists published in advance to manage attendance in the Chamber during parliamentary business
  • Remote participation in certain proceedings by some MPs
  • New ways of voting, including an extension of the current proxy voting scheme

What time is PMQs today? How to watch

Prime Minister’s Questions, known as PMQs, are held each Wednesday when Parliament is in session.

Each week they begin at 12pm, and Members of Parliament are given the chance to ask the PM questions.

This is the first PMQs back after the summer break, and no doubt MPs will be broaching a number of topics after so long away.

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Up for discussion could be the exams fiasco, the migrant crisis, getting the economy back on track after lockdown and the easing of local lockdowns across the UK.

PMQs is shown via live stream across several platforms, so you can watch it as it happens.

First is via Parliament Live TV, which you can access via the website here. 

PMQs are also live-streamed on the official UK Parliament YouTube page, which you can access here. 

And BBC Parliament shows the action live from the commons, you can switch to channel 504 on Sky.

BBC Parliament can be accessed via channel 605 on Virgin Media, on Freeview channel 232, and Freesat channel 201.

You can also stream it live from BBC iPlayer which you can access here.

Today, there are two urgent questions which will be asked in the Commons.

The first will be to ask Priti Patel, Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make a statement on those crossing the English Channel in small boats.

Labour MP Nick Thomas-Symonds will put this question to the floor today.

The second will be from Shadow Secretary for State for Foreign and Commonwealth Lisa Nandy.

She will ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the creation of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

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