Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn in final PMQs before Labour boss quits and Parliament shuts over coronavirus


BORIS Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are facing off in their final PMQs session before the Labour boss quits and Parliament shuts for a month.

The two leaders are having an hour-long bumper session of questions before the Commons closes down for an extra long Easter recess.

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are having their final PMQs together
Boris paid tribute to Jeremy Corbyn as he steps down as Labour boss

The PM vowed that a huge bumper package was on the way for the self-employed “in the next few days” and more testing for NHS staff.

Boris vowed: “We are putting our arms around every single worker.”

And he again stressed that the best thing everyone can do to help with the coronavirus crisis was to “stay at home”.

In a bold rally cry to a worried nation, he said: “We will get this country through this crisis with this exceptional steps.
“We will do whatever it takes to get our country through it together.

“We will beat it together.”

A package of measures to help Britain’s army of five million self-employed is being worked on frantically by ministers, but the system is more complex than regular workers so has taken longer than expected.

And this morning a huge row has erupted as construction workers were told to go in as usual on crowded trains – but ordered to stay two metres apart.

Last night the Government insisted that if people could not work from home – including all builders on sites – they could carry on going in as long as they were safe.

However, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon have both said they should be staying home too like most of the country.

The Mayor said this morning: “You can’t keep a safe distance on sites so the virus will spread and more people will die.

“I’ve repeatedly asked Ministers to ban non-essential work. Scotland already has – as has TfL. We need action today.”

Daily footage shows builders and other workers being forced to cram into trains and Tubes to get to work.

And this morning up to 1,000 workers at the meat producer Moy Park, Portadown, walked out over safety concerns.

The Mayor this morning said he can’t put more trains on because a third of TfL’s staff has gone off sick during the pandemic.

But this morning ministers insisted the building work would contain vital maintenance that simply had to be done.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick was taken apart by the Good Morning Britain host.

He said: “We have to keep essential services and the economy moving forward.

“We need to ensure that services are delivered and the critical infrastructure of the country is maintained.”

But Piers yelled back: “You’re putting money above lives, aren’t you?

“How are you going to feel with a policy that is opposite against country like France if the UK death rate explodes because you didn’t lock down the country properly?

“Will you feel responsible as a government for that?”

Mr Jenrick argued that everyone was following the expert advice – which was led by medical experts.

“We believe we’re taking the judgments at the right moments,” he added.

And he stressed that essential works included making sure buildings were safe, installing boilers, and making sure dangerous cladding was ripped off buildings had to be done.

But ANY firm that can’t make sure people are two metres apart at all times should close down, he said.

Some firms have already done so.

“In construction a number of employers have decided they cant follow the Public Health England guidance and choosing and shut down their sites,” he told the BBC.

“That is the right thing to do.”

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are having their final PMQs together
Builders are being told to carry on working – but stay a safe distance apart


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