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Part of Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:34 am on 17th June 2020.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party 11:34 am, 17th June 2020

This is turning into Opposition questions. If the Prime Minister wants to swap places, I am very happy. I could do it now. The only bit of an answer he gave to the question I asked was about £3.2 billion—[Interruption.] It is a lot of money. The Conservative-led Local Government Association has said that councils will have a shortfall of £10 billion this year—[Interruption.] The Health Secretary heckles. The Conservative leader of Lancashire County Council wrote a letter to the Communities Secretary a month ago, on 7 May. He said that

“the overall financial impact on councils nationally and locally will be far in excess of the £3.2 billion provided to date”.

He went on to say that

“we…would like some assurance from you that all councils will be fully reimbursed for the costs of…covid-19”.

These are the Prime Minister’s own council leaders. He must have known about this problem for months. Why has he been so slow to act?