What we learned from this week's PMQs

Boris Johnson won't condemn Donald Trump's claims of electoral “fraud”, and finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place over lockdown.

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The Prime Minister won't condemn Donald Trump's claims of election "fraud"

Keir Starmer asked Boris Johnson to agree that it's “not for a candidate to decide which votes do and don't count” in the US election, following Donald Trump's claim that there has been a “major fraud on our nation” and that he has already won the election. Johnson declined to condemn the comments, saying simply: “We don't comment as UK government on the democratic processes of our friends and allies.”

Boris Johnson is caught between a rock and a hard place on lockdown

The Prime Minister found himself in the strange position at today's PMQs of justifying a second lockdown policy to his irate backbenchers, while insisting to Keir Starmer that the tiered approach –which rebel Tory MPs would prefer to see continued – was "working". It was evidence of a Prime Minister deeply conflicted about the action he is about to take, with Labour's support, and unable to give a full-throated defence of it, for fear of conceding the argument to Keir Starmer.

Keir Starmer wants the second lockdown to continue beyond 2 December if the R rate isn't below 1

One issue did show a clear divide between Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer, however. The Prime Minister confirmed that the lockdown will end on 2 December, and that further restrictions would require another vote in the Commons, while Starmer argued that a lockdown should be continued if the R rate isn't below one.

Ailbhe Rea is political correspondent at the New Statesman.

She co-hosts the New Statesman podcast, discussing the latest in UK politics.

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