PMQs LIVE: Keir Starmer prepares House of Commons assault as Boris fights Tory uprising

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The Prime Minister will face off with the Labour leader in a Commons showdown where he is expected to be questioned over his plans to make coverings mandatory from July 24, with shoppers facing a £100 fine if they refuse to comply. Some Conservatives have reacted in fury, complaining the ruling, with exemptions for children under 11 and people with certain disabilities and breathing conditions, is a violation of civil liberties.

Former minister Sir Desmond Swayne described the measure as a “monstrous imposition”, while some grassroots activists cut up their party membership cards in protest.

He said “nothing would make me less likely to go shopping than the thought of having to mask up”.

There have also been warnings that the move will deter shoppers just as high streets are reopening with the easing of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock insisted the wearing of face coverings in shops and on public transport is essential to prevent the virus from getting out of control again.

He told MPs on Tuesday: “Should an individual without an exemption refuse to wear a face covering, a shop can refuse them entry and can call the police if people refuse to comply.

“The police have formal enforcement powers and can issue a fine.”

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