RISHI Sunak was among the MPs to burst into laughter at PMQs after Stephen Flynn’s first  question took aim at both the Tories and Labour.

The SNP Westminster group leader used his opening contribution to needle the Prime Minister about reported backbench plans to replace him, as well as Labour Party frontbenchers after several of them sang the praises of Margaret Thatcher.

Flynn asked Sunak: “With his backbenchers looking for a unity candidate to replace him, which of the now numerous, born-again Thacherites on the Labour frontbench does he believe best fits the bill?”

Responding, Sunak said it had been “surprising” to hear talk from Labour MPs including shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves about the UK in the 1970s.

However, Flynn insisted there was a “serious point to be made”.

He said: “The IFS [Institute for Fiscal Studies] have warned of the ‘conspiracy of silence’ which exists between the Labour Party and the Conservative Party when it comes to £18 billion of looming public sector cuts.

“Just last night the [the IFS] actually outlined that the fiscal rules of the Labour Party and the Conservative Party are ‘in effect, identical’.

“So with such continuity on offer, the public are right to be anti-Westminster, aren't they?”

Responding, Sunak said he was “surprised to hear him quoting the IFS,” pointing out that the think tank had also described the Scottish Government budget as “misleading”.

The IFS had said the Scottish Government’s Budget did not increase health spending year-on-year as was claimed, when in-year top-ups were included.

During his questions at PMQs, Labour leader Keir Starmer took aim at the Conservatives over the timing of a General Election and the Rwanda deportation plan.

The Labour leader told the Commons: “Violent prisoners released early because the Tories wrecked the criminal justice system, 3500 small boats arrivals already this year because the Tories lost control of the borders, the NHS struggling to see people because the Tories broke it, millions paying more on their mortgages, a budget that hit pensioners, a £46bn hole in his sums.

“Why is the Prime Minister so scared to call an election?”

Sunak replied: “My working assumption is that the election will be in the second half of the year.

“I must say, I thought that out of everybody he would actually be the most grateful, because he has now actually got time to come up with a plan for Britain.”

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Starmer also said: “The Rwanda gimmick is going to cost the taxpayer £2 million for every one of the 300 people that they deport.

“I know the Prime Minister likes to spend a lot on jet-setting but that’s some plane ticket. It’s the cost of Tory chaos and it’s working people who are paying the price.”

He added: “We know the Prime Minister himself thought it wouldn’t work. If the people selling this gimmick don’t believe in it, why should the country?”

Sunak responded: “When it comes to this question of how to deal with people who are here illegally, [Labour's] values are simply not those of the British people.

“After all, this is the person who campaigned to stop the deportation of foreign dangerous criminals. A dangerous criminal was jailed for dealing class A drugs after he fought to keep him here, a gang master was convicted of carrying a knife after he fought to keep him here.

“So, whether he’s representing terrorists or campaigning for criminals, it’s clear whose side he’s on, and it’s not the British people’s.”