PMQs: Brexit Knockout Special

Theresa May knew she was in for a tough bout when howls of laughter greeted her stock response to the opening question: “This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others…” She had survived the warm-up rounds with her ministers for now, but could she withstand a gruelling slugfest with the MPs? It must have been serious as Jeremy Corbyn had improbably decided to go in on the issue of the day…

It wasn’t quite Usyk vs Bellew, but Corbyn’s first few punches all landed squarely on their target. “Two years bungled negotiations”, “a failure in its own terms”, “doesn’t deliver for the whole UK”. May was quickly on the back foot, her ripostes weak and predictable. “It’s a good deal for the UK, it delivers on the vote of the British people, we will leave the Common Agricultural Policy, the Common Fisheries Policy…”. She flailed back and missed hopelessly. Many of the MPs in the blue corner were struggling not to cheer her opponent on…

Despite Umpire Bercow’s best efforts to repeatedly break up the fight to give lectures to the crowd on “respect and good behaviour”, Corbyn managed to string together a successful combination, hitting May hard on the backstop. May was firmly on the ropes, floundering about with the same stale moves as her few remaining supporters looked on in exasperation. But as always, the momentum ran out for Corbyn, who fell into his usual trap of switching his attack entirely just as he looked close to landing the crucial punch. A win for Corbyn on points, but no knockout blow…

Next up was Peter Bone, a man who will no doubt be thinking more carefully before pledging to erect a statue of any future Prime Ministers, who came out swinging hard. May was caught off guard by the ferocity of his attack, but luckily for her, Umpire Bercow was there to step in to give her a moment to catch her breath. The sting soon faded from the remaining contest, with May earning unexpected reprieves as Iain Duncan Smith and Antoinette Sandbach surprisingly declined to launch a pincer movement against her and gave her easy domestic fodder to parry instead. There was one final well-placed jab from Our Lady of Vauxhall, who hit May in a sensitive spot with a cutting “when will she speak up for Northern Irish fishermen, not just the Irish Government”, but May ultimately battled through to the end in one piece. May lives to fight another day, but will her promoters pull the plug before she can get back in the ring?




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Quote of the Day

No prizes for guessing who Andrea Leadsom is talking about:

“As you said last week, Mr Speaker, we have a responsibility to safeguard the rights of this House and as Leader of the House I seek to do exactly that, treating all members of parliament with courtesy and respect. I hope and expect all Honourable and Right Honourable members to do likewise.”

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