The Foreign Secretary quickly cottoned on to the fact that this was not going to be the most riveting of PMQs bust-ups. That of course meant there was only one thing for it: time to get in a bit of light chin-wagging (read: serious ministerial business). Attempting to avoid detection or accusations of rudeness while his leader held court, Boris decided the best strategy would be “The Cagney”. Popularised by the black and white film star, this technique involves leaning in to one’s co-conspirator with head bowed and quickly yapping out the opposite side of the mouth: a useful tactic when stuck in the can. Unfortunately for Boris while the Cagney works a charm for Noo-Yawk lags on lockdown, it is rather less effective when attempted by a booming old Etonian with a penchant for peppering his sentences with Latin. He never was any good at “oratio sub rosa” (that’s “Boris” for “talking in secret”).
Proceedings had begun with all paying unreserved tribute to those lost in Aberfan Disaster, including the Labour leader. Naturally there will be those concerned that this indicates a breach of Corbyn’s Law, they need not worry – had Jeremy known of any other mass landslide casualties they would undoubtedly have been duly referenced. The leader of the opposition then decided to question his opposite number on mental health and the NHS. It’s a subject quite literally close to his heart as he has spent every Wednesday afternoon for the past year sitting a foot away from a man slowly losing his mind. Although fortunately Tom Watson did opt for the first time in PMQs to unclasp his hands, meaning that the small mouse he would usually crush over the course of your average session happily managed to survive this Wednesday.