Live commentary: Labour’s urgent question on Tory leadership [VIDEO]

Keir Starmer wants Liz Truss to make a statement on the replacement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer – but she’s not even in the Commons Chamber.

Penny Mordaunt says she’s “detained on urgent business” – to hilarity from MPs, none of whom believe a word of it.

Mordaunt says the overriding priority is to restore financial credibility in the face of volatile global conditions – so no mention of the fact that the Tory government created all the problems.

Starmer thanks Mordaunt for acting for the PM: “I guess under this Tory government, everybody gets to be prime minister for 15 minutes.”

Now he’s making a big speech: “Where is the prime minister? Hiding away… The lady’s not for turning… up!

“How can we get stability when this prime minister has no mandate from her party and no mandate from the country?”

Mordaunt comes back with a cheap shot that Starmer won’t have his fifteen minutes as PM.

She says Truss has taken a tough decision, politically and personally, because it is in the national interest.

But that decision was to scrap her own policies – go against her political instincts. It means her policies and judgement were wrong. Doesn’t it mean that she is the wrong choice of prime minister?

Now Mordaunt is criticising Starmer’s political career, suggesting his record shows he does not support the national interest. Much of it is arguable – apart from the fact that he has abandoned all the pledges he made to Labour members in his own leadership campaign. This is true.

Tory Peter Bottomley says when circumstances change, it is time for policies to change – again ignoring the fact that circumstances only changed because Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng made it happen.

SNP spokesperson draws a contrast between Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spending an hour answering questions on an independent Scotland and the UK prime minister running away and hiding from Parliament.

Angela Eagle describes the UK’s current economic turmoil as one of the largest humiliations it has ever faced – directly attributable to the actions of Liz Truss.

Liberal Democrat Ed Davey says the previous prime minister, Boris Johnson, trashed the public’s faith in the government – and the current prime minister trashed the public’s faith in the economy. He requests an apology – and doesn’t get it.

Hilary Benn asks why Liz Truss is still in office when it is clear to many – including MPs on the Tory benches – that she is no longer in power.

SNP representative says nobody in his party takes joy from the current crisis as it affects everybody in their constituencies.

Mordaunt is struggling – falling back on insisting that the Chancellor should be allowed to make his statement, rather than answering the questions.

Another harsh question: will Mordaunt accept that the possibility of “levelling-up” is dead?

Mordaunt lists Tory policies. They include the so-called “National Living Wage” that leaves working people claiming benefits and is therefore a nonsense.

Responding to Stella Creasy, Mordaunt draws jeers from all sides when she says “The prime minister is not under a desk… She is away for a very good reason.” What reason, then?

No answer. And if no answer is all Mordaunt has to offer – on top of no show from Liz Truss, then there is nothing to be said and the entire Tory government should rethink its future.

[At this point, my commentary ended as I had to take Mrs Mike to an appointment. I thought I had covered most of the event – wrongly. Below, please find a video clip of the whole thing.]

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