PMQs sketch: May dodges a bullet over Windrush generation but fractious exchanges provide few answers

Theresa May at PMQs
Theresa May at PMQs
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The Windrush generation are "part of us", Theresa May said as she apologised for their treatment, but few of them will have been impressed by a torrid Prime Minister's Questions.

Both the Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn have been embroiled in scandal this week and it showed in a fractious exchange over the treatment of Windrush citizens wrongly caught up in Mrs May's "hostile environment" immigration policies and threatened with deportation.

What should have been an open goal for the Opposition leader threatened to turn into an own goal, as the PM revealed the decision to destroy the landing cards that held a record of Windrush arrivals was made in 2009 under Labour.

Mr Corbyn was knocked off balance, and failed to regain his footing as he again attempted to criticise the Tories for the failure which appears to have left many without documentary proof of their status.

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Mrs May appeared to have scored a vital victory on an issue which could have proved highly damaging at the parliamentary set-piece given her stewardship of the Home Office during the coalition years between 2010 and 2016.

But while it highlighted the Labour leader's inability to think on his feet, outside the heated Commons chamber Downing Street briefed that the decision to destroy landing cards was "operational" and taken by Border Force rather than ministers in the government of the day, making Mrs May look like she was political point-scoring.

Nevertheless, it would have been painful for Mr Corbyn to see Mrs May turn his "callous and incompetent" jibe back at him, the PM accusing the Labour leader of letting anti-Semitism "run rife" in his party.

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It was a ruthless rubbing of salt into wounds brutally exposed by the string of the Labour MPs who yesterday shared harrowing stories of anti-Semitic abuse from Mr Corbyn's supporters.

As Labour bete noire and former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith praised the MPs who spoke out, the pain on Mr Corbyn's face was undeniable.

But while he may have lost the battle, questions remained over Mrs May's role in the Windrush scandal after a PMQs with a lot of heat but little light.

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