Theresa May will clash with Jeremy Corbyn at prime minister's questions on Wednesday afternoon (20 July 2016) for the first time since she took office at Number 10 Downing Street. The Conservative leader goes into the bout boosted with good economic news after the Office for National Statistics said the unemployment rate had dropped to 4.9% in the three months to May.

The fall means the UK's jobless rate is at its lowest level since 2005, with the employment rate climbing to 74.4% over the same period – the highest level since records began in 1971.

"Today's employment and wage figures are proof that the fundamentals of the British economy are strong," said Chancellor Philip Hammond.

"In the months before the referendum, employment in the UK reached a new record high, unemployment fell to its lowest [level] in a decade an wages continued to rise."

Corbyn, in comparison, faces a leadership challenge from Pontypridd MP Owen Smith after Angela Eagle pulled out of the race on Tuesday night.

Smith, 46, took to the TV studios and airwaves to outline his leadership bid. The former Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament activist told ITV's Good Morning Britain that he would push the so-called "nuclear button" even if such a move would kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

The comments come after MPs voted overwhelmingly 472 to 117 to renew the UK's nuclear deterrent, Trident. Corbyn was one of just 47 Labour MPs who opposed the £41bn ($53bn) Successor Programme. But the left-winger, who attracted almost 60% of the vote in Labour's 2015 leadership contest, is still favourite to win the election.

A YouGov poll for The Times, of more than 1,000 Labour members between 15 and 18 July, put Corbyn on 54%, Eagle on 24% and Smith on just 15%. The winner of the leadership contest is to be announced in Liverpool on 24 September.

Follow PMQ updates at @IBTUKPolitics and watch the session live from 12pm BST on BBC Parliament, Sky News and Parliament TV.

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