Stephen Flynn, the SNP leader in the House of Commons, really should have known better than to become involved in a debate about the two-child benefit cap.
Because, instead of embarrassing the Labour leader Keir Starmer, Mr Flynn himself was the one left with the red face.
What he did at PMQs was a waste of parliamentary time and taxpayers’ money because Labour’s support for the abolition of the heinous two-child benefit cap is a nailed on certainty.
They will, of course, have to win the General Election first, but that too looks certain as the Conservatives and SNP flounder and fight amongst themselves.
Stephen Flynn asked Prime Minister Rishi Sunak: “The two-child benefit cap introduced by the Conservative party has left 250,000 children living in poverty.
“Does the Prime Minister take comfort in knowing that the heinous legacy of that policy will no longer be protected just by Conservative Members but by Labour Members too?”
This received a few laughs, but not as many as Mairi Black did last week with her put down of Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden.
She told him he would be joining her (and eight other SNP members) on her way out of parliament through St Stephen’s Gate after the general election.
The Prime Minister could’t help joining in the “fun” and he swiftly ribbed Keir Starmer: “I welcome the Labour leader’s new-found support for our policy, even though he previously committed to a different approach.
“What I would say to him, and indeed the Labour Front Bench, is that they do not have to worry too much given the Labour leader’s track record: he has never actually kept a promise that he has made.”
Stephen Flynn, who squandered his weekly opportunity to say something worthwhile  in front of a large audience, persisted: “Voters in Scotland are used to child poverty under the Tories—they almost expect it—but they do not expect child poverty support from the Labour Party.
“If we look very closely right now, there is a shiver running along the Labour Front Bench looking for a spine [to run up].
“Does this not tell us something much bigger: that for children living in poverty in Scotland, Westminster offers them no real change and no real hope?”
The Prime Minister replied: “The best route out of poverty is through work, and the best way to ensure that children do not grow up in poverty is to ensure that they do not grow up in a workless household.
“That is why we are focused on creating more jobs, with 200,000 more in Scotland since 2010 and hundreds of thousands fewer children across the United Kingdom growing up in a workless household.
“We will always continue to reduce child poverty. I do not want to see a single child grow up in poverty, and we will deliver that in every part of the UK, including in Scotland.”
However, Keir Starmer’s position on child benefit is a temporary one which Labour intends to stand over only until after they are in power.
Dame Jackie Baillie has told me that Sir Keir has taken this  position in order to make it clear to voters that unlike the Tories and the SNP, Labour has no intention of being profligate with public money.
What they intend to do is ensure that that their projects and policies are properly costed before they are implemented, unlike the ferries in Scotland and HS2 in England.
And then and only then will Labour scrap the two-child benefit cap and implement other sound ideas to add to the list of long-awaited projects and services the public want to see put in place during the second half of the current decade.


A recent study has found that Celtic Park is the highest-rated stadium in the Scottish Premier League. Research conducted by looked at the Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor review scores.

The team also took into account capacity for every stadium in the SPL and the English Premier League and scored each one out of a possible 100 points to find which came out on top.

Celtic Park scored 91.06 out of 100 on the index, thanks largely to a five-star TripAdvisor ranking and a larger capacity than Ibrox Stadium, home of Old Firm rivals Rangers, which scored 86.66.

Tynecastle Park finished in third spot with a score of 60.7 for Edinburgh giants Hearts, whose city rivals Hibernian were in fifth with Easter Road picking up 45.92 – thanks largely to a Yelp review score of just three.

Kilmarnock’s home The BBSP Stadium was in fourth place with a score of 51.37, while Livingston’s Tony Macaroni Arena – despite the amusing name – was bottom of the pile with just 13.8 out of 100.

The highest-rated stadium in the Premier League was found to be Manchester United’s Old Trafford with an index score of 85.56 out of 100.

Liverpool’s Anfield, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Manchester City’s Emirates Arena made up the top five down south.

Luton Town’s Kenilworth Road – which has hit the headlines as one of the stadium entrances is through a row of terraced houses – finished bottom with an index score of 10.24.

Scottish Premier League stadiums ranked
Scottish Premier League stadiums ranked

Ionut Marin, Lead Editor of, said: “Interestingly, for the Premier League teams, nearly all of the larger capacity stadiums have done well in terms of Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google reviews. The main outlier is West Ham’s London Stadium, which surprisingly only managed 14th place.”


There’s nothing new under the sun – including extreme temperatures. On 23 July 1881, The Tablet recorded extreme heat that “culminated on Friday, the 15th, on which a maximum of 98 deg. in the shade was registered in the Strand.”  It informed its readers: “There are still some people who persist in attributing the extraordinary heat to the comet.”


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