Andrew Gimson’s PMQ Sketch: Wake Banks Become Vulnerable After Coutts Catastrophe – News Block

Does the prime minister “share my discomfort”, Jacob Rees-Mogg wondered, “that a bank that has the government as its largest shareholder should close the account of a senior opposition politician?”

Rishi Sunak certainly shared their concern: “It would not be right to deny financial services to anyone who exercises their right to legal freedom of expression.”

What a catastrophe for Coutts to be found to have banned Nigel Farage not (as stated at the outset) for insufficient funds, but for having taken the wrong views.

David Davis went on to state that Coutts had been “vindictive, irresponsible and undemocratic” and had “lied about the commercial viability” of the Farage account.

Davis wanted the Prime Minister to “require all banks with a British banking license to report to the Treasury all accounts closed for non-commercial reasons in the last decade.”

Such a move would make Coutts surprisingly unpopular with other banks. Sunak did not go that far, but said that “we intend to crack down on this practice.”

There was perhaps a tipping point here, when the awakening business, with its sanctimonious belief that awakening views are the only ones any respectable person could have, descended into an indefensible self-parody.

Certainly the Coutts story helped the last few PMQs before the summer break fade into trivial boredom.

The party leaders seemed to be playing a game of musical chairs in which at least one of them will soon find themselves without a place to sit.

Stephen Flynn of the Scots Nats attacked Labor for supporting the Conservatives’ two-child benefit cap: a clear sign that nationalists are concerned about Labour’s electoral recovery.

So is Rishi Sunak. When questioned about NHS waiting lists by Sir Keir Starmer, the prime minister replied that “our plans were starting to work” but that the strikes had interrupted them.

Would Starmer “get off the fence” and reveal whether he supported those attacks? The Labor leader naturally refused to stand on one side of the fence or the other.

The Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, intervened to remind the Prime Minister that he is not there to ask questions about the Opposition, but to answer questions about Government policies.

Starmer tried to rile Sunak by asking why non-dom status is “so important to him”, a blow to the prime minister’s wealth.

Sunak responded that he was known to support “maths up to 18”, but thought that in Starmer’s case it should be “maths up to 61, frankly”.

“If he’s that good at math,” Starmer replied, “he’d know I’m 60, not 61.”

Sunak is only 43 years old, but his hair turns gray fast.

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