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Is PMQs on today? Why Rishi Sunak isn’t facing Prime Minister’s Questions and when it’s next on

There will be no Prime Minister’s Questions today as the House of Commons is on recess for party conference season.

Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer normally face off every Wednesday, debating the biggest issues of the past week. The televised sessions also give the public an opportunity to judge the two leaders as they vie for popularity ahead of the next general election.

That election is in tight focus right now, with both leaders using their respective conferences to set out their stall and launch flagship policies they hope will convince the electorate to hand them the keys to No 10 for the next five years.

When is the next PMQs?

Parliament broke up on Tuesday 19 September ahead of the various party conferences, and will return from its near month-long break on Monday 16 October.

This means the next PMQs will be on Wednesday 18 October, at its usual time of midday.

The Commons has a number of recesses throughout the year, with the next beginning on Tuesday 19 December for Christmas. MPs will return for the new year on Monday 9 January.

What did the leaders say in their conference speeches?

The Prime Minister attempted to portray himself as a radical reformer in his speech last week, criticising 30 years of a “broken” system incentivising “the easy decision, not the right one”.

Despite the Tories having been in charge for most of past three decades, he pitched himself as the man to “fundamentally change our country” ahead of an election expected next year.

Mr Sunak confirmed he is cancelling the northern leg of HS2, claiming the “facts have changed” and calling it the “ultimate example of the old consensus”. He said he would spend “every single penny” of the £36bn saved from ditching the project on new transport projects in the North and Midlands.

The Prime Minister proposed raising the smoking age by one year, every year, meaning a 14-year-old today will never legally be sold a cigarette.

He also announced major reform of secondary school qualifications, bringing together A-levels and T-levels to create a new Advanced British Standard qualification which will see students studying more subjects up to age 18.

To applause, he told the audience in Manchester: “A man is a man, a woman is a woman. That’s just common sense.” His comments have been heavily criticised by LGBTQ+ charities.

Sir Keir’s speech on Tuesday was disrupted before it had even begun by a protester who poured glitter over him.

He went on to promise what he called “an entirely new approach to politics”.

Referring to the last 13 years of Tory rule, he told the conference hall in Liverpool: “If you are a Conservative voter who despairs of this, if you look in horror at the descent of your party into the murky waters of populism and conspiracy, with no argument for economic change; if you feel our children need a party that conserves, that fights for our union, our environment, the rule of law, family life, the careful bond between this generation and the next – then let me tell you, Britain already has one. And you can join it – it’s this Labour party.”

He also promised to “get Britain building again” by ramping up the construction of new homes.

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