I live ‘rent free’ in Rishi Sunak’s head, Jeremy Corbyn tells MPs

Jeremy Corbyn believes he “lives rent free” in Rishi Sunak’s head given the Prime Minister’s repeated reference to him during attacks on Sir Keir Starmer.

The former Labour leader criticised Mr Sunak for giving a “wholly inaccurate representation” of his 2019 agenda on national security during Prime Minister’s Questions.

Mr Corbyn, who now sits as an independent MP for Islington North, also asked Mr Sunak to correct the record and to “accurately reflect” his views rather than deliver “inventions made up by him or his office”.

Mr Sunak has pledged to repeatedly use Labour leader Sir Keir’s support for Mr Corbyn’s leadership as an attack line during PMQs.

Prime Minister’s Questions
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons (Jessica Taylor/PA)

On Wednesday, Mr Sunak claimed Mr Corbyn’s “national security agenda” included “abolishing our armed forces, scrapping the nuclear deterrent, withdrawing from Nato, voting against every single anti-terror law we tried, and befriending Hamas and Hezbollah”.

But Mr Corbyn said Mr Sunak gave him no advance notice of the plan to reference him at PMQs and noted this was against the conventions of the House.

Mr Corbyn added to deputy speaker Nigel Evans: “He gave a wholly inaccurate representation of the 2019 election manifesto, which he must have been fully well aware of because he took part in many debates concerning the content of that manifesto during the election campaign.

“Could you guide me on how the Prime Minister could correct the record?

“And if I’m going to live rent free in his head at least he could accurately reflect what I think and what I say rather than inventions made up by him or his office.”

Mr Evans said MPs are responsible for the content of their contributions in the chamber, adding: “In respect of what is said in the House, parliamentary privilege allows all Members the right of free speech to ensure we can represent our constituents and express our views without fear or favour.

“But this is a right we must exercise with great responsibility so the Treasury bench will have heard that point of order and I’m sure it’ll be passed on to the Prime Minister.”

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt recognised the need for MPs to give each other notice about plans to reference them in their speeches.

She added: “I suspect (Mr Corbyn) should be prepared for him to be discussed and, in particular, the Leader of the Opposition’s support for both him and the manifesto that he stood on to be mentioned on at least a weekly basis.

“If he’d like to help correct the record he could publish the manifesto that he stood on, which would have weakened this country and dismantled Nato.”

Mr Corbyn replied: “The manifesto is freely available.

“Had it resulted in a Labour government we would not have such poverty, such food banks and such misery in this country today.”

Mr Evans joked: “It’d appear it is not only the Prime Minister who lives rent free in your head, Mr Corbyn.”