DAB PMQ

Readers of this sketch will remember its recurring and heartfelt concern for the sanity of poor Tom Watson. First chronicling his deepening existential despair here, in subsequent months I went on to speculate it was only a matter of time before he would finally lose it and go the “full Bill Murray and turn up to PMQs stark bollock naked”, all in a desperate attempt to break this cycle of Groundhog Day-style self-immolations by the Labour Leader. Today was that day…

He’d almost made it as well, valiantly surviving most of Jeremy Corbyn’s rambling monologues by nodding his head slowly back and forth in scenes eerily reminiscent of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. That lasted right up until Mr. Corbyn finally took the plunge into complete self-parody and used his last question to spit at Theresa May that she needed to “INVEST IN OUR. ENN. AITCH. ESS!”, dementedly hammering his fist on the despatch box like a toddler to punctuate each syllable of “NHS”. At this point something broke in Mr. Watson, and he decided to do what any normal 50 year old politician would in such a situation and throw his arms maniacally in the air, performing an urban youth dance-craze known as a “dab”. Well, at least he didn’t go full Miley Cyrus and twerk on a dwarf in the chamber. Then again, Bercow may have been game…

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May in the Lords

Theresa May and Commons leader David Lidington are sitting on the steps of the throne in the House of Lords as they begin their Brexit debate this afternoon, to remind peers of the democratic mandate issued by the elected chamber. Sound.

UPDATE: Another angle:

Corbyn Doing Worse Than Foot

Dreadful numbers out this lunchtime for Jezza: Ipsos MORI’s Political Monitor shows his satisfaction rating is just 24%. Dissatisfaction in Corbyn now runs at 62%, making him the most unsatisfactory opposition leader since Michael Foot in 1982. How would Rebecca Long-Bailey or Clive Lewis look on that list?

This chart will wipe yesterday’s unfortunate grimace from the Prime Minister’s face: despite wobbles over Trump, Theresa May’s honeymoon continues and she is more popular than Cameron at the seven month stage of her premiership. It’s still early doors on Brexit…

On net satisfaction Theresa May is on +17, and Jeremy Corbyn is on -38. Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, said:

“The historical contrasts look good for Theresa May, but much more alarming for Jeremy Corbyn. The Prime Minister is enjoying a better honeymoon at this stage then her two immediate predecessors, David Cameron and Gordon Brown. However, Mr Corbyn’s ratings as a Labour opposition leader almost 18 months in are closer to Michael Foot’s.”

Corbyn is under-performing Foot by 6%. In 1983 Foot saw the Tories win 397 seats, could Labour under Corbyn see the Tories win 400+ seats?

May Copeland Victory Lap

Theresa May is visiting Copeland tomorrow – obviously the Tories believe they are going to win. The PM’s 700 mile round-trip comes with just over week left until polling day (23 February). Copeland has been Labour since the seat was created in 1983. She wouldn’t be going up there if the Tories didn’t think it was a cert….

Guido’s Brexit Timeline: All the Key Dates For Your Diary

Last night’s historic Commons vote drives Brexit forward and all eyes are on what happens next. Here’s Guido’s rundown of crucial events in the coming months.

February 

20-21 Article 50 Bill Second Reading, House of Lords. The government doesn’t have a majority in the Lords. Labour peers promise not to derail the Bill, but rogue Lords could cause trouble. The majority of Lib Dem peers want a second referendum and single market access which the government has set its face against.

27-28 Article 50 Bill Committee Stage, House of Lords. If the Lords do make major amendments to the Bill they will be discussed in detail over two days.

March

7 – Article 50 Bill Third Reading, House of Lords. A Bill amended by pro-EU peers seeking to frustrate Brexit would be returned to the Commons for “ping-pong” – but government sources have threatened peers that the Lords could be abolished if they take this course. Otherwise, a non-amended Bill will become law.

8 Phillip Hammond delivers the Budget, a key opportunity to build on May’s 12 principles and present in more detail the economic vision for Brexit Britain.

9-10 European Council meeting in Brussels. An obvious opportunity for May to formally tell EU leaders that Britain is leaving.

13, 14, 15 Days on which the Commons will undo any Lords’ amendments.

25 – EU Summit to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Treaty of Rome. Awkward.

31 – May’s deadline for enacting Article 50, triggering a two year negotiation window for a Brexit deal to be in place before the March 2019 European elections.

Then the real work begins…

PMQs: Who’s Asking The Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Toby Perkins (Chesterfield) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 8 February

Q2 Johnny Mercer (Plymouth, Moor View)

Q3 Patrick Grady (Glasgow North)

Q4 Scott Mann (North Cornwall)

Q5 Jake Berry (Rossendale and Darwen)

Q6 Mrs Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet)

Q7 Iain Stewart (Milton Keynes South)

Q8 James Morris (Halesowen and Rowley Regis)

Q9 Dr Sarah Wollaston (Totnes)

Q10 James Berry (Kingston and Surbiton)

Q11 Mr Graham Brady (Altrincham and Sale West)

Q12 Karl McCartney (Lincoln)

Q13 Julian Sturdy (York Outer)

Q14 Chris Green (Bolton West)

Q15 Gavin Newlands (Paisley and Renfrewshire North)

Comments in the comments…

May on Trumps Hands

Theresa May takes the mickey out of President Trump’s hands:

“Thank you very much for that wonderful reception. I don’t think I have received such a big hand since I walked down the colonnade at the White House.”

May vs “Lady Nugee”

Emily Thornberry has blown her top and is protesting to the Speaker after Theresa May called her “Lady Nugee” in the Commons. Lady Nugee is Thornberry’s official title by virtue of her marriage to the High Court Judge Sir Christopher Nugee. The Speaker did not judge that there was anything wrong with Thornberry being formally addressed… 

UPDATE: Thornberry protests with a point of order, telling the Speaker “I have never been a lady and being married to a knight won’t make me one”. May insists she was not being disorderly but offers an apology, then hits back: “For the last 36 years I have been referred to by my husband’s name”.

Flashback: The Tale of Lady Nugee’s Walled Garden

Corbyn Demands Higher Defence Spending

Surreal moment in the Commons as Jeremy Corbyn, who once said we should abolish the army, lectures Theresa May about defence cuts. Red Tory…

Latest Poll: May 68 Points Ahead of Corbyn

Opinium last night published net approval ratings which make disastrous reading for Jeremy Corbyn. In short, May destroys Jez on every measure of confidence and likeability. The net figures are above: on the raw numbers just 14% think Corbyn is a strong leader and just 16% think he would make a capable Prime Minister. This poll was taken during a difficult weekend for May where she was receiving a drubbing in the press over the Trump state visit. There is a 68 point spread between them on who makes a capable PM. Even on a bad day, May looks unbeatable...

READ: Brexit White Paper

The government has just released its Brexit white paper: The United Kingdom’s Exit From and New Partnership With the European Union. Read it here.

May on Corbyn: “He Can Lead a Protest, I’m Leading a Country”

One of Corbyn’s better outings and yet the well-prepared PM brushed him aside with consummate ease. She’s getting more confident…

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Peter Heaton-Jones (North Devon) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 1 February

Q2 Stuart Andrew (Pudsey)

Q3 Jonathan Reynolds (Stalybridge and Hyde)

Q4 Mrs Maria Miller (Basingstoke)

Q5 Mrs Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet)

Q6 Chris Elmore (Ogmore)

Q7 John Nicolson (East Dunbartonshire)

Q8 Deidre Brock (Edinburgh North and Leith)

Q9 Ruth Cadbury (Brentford and Isleworth)

Q10 Will Quince (Colchester)

Q11 James Duddridge (Rochford and Southend East)

Q12 Alec Shelbrooke (Elmet and Rothwell)

Q13 Mr Stephen Hepburn (Jarrow)

Q14 Mr David Winnick (Walsall North)

Comments in the comments…

Trump / May Press Conference in Full

Just four questions, no major disasters, very warm words from the President on Brexit. May will be happy with that…

Trump Grabs May By The… Hand

Getting on a treat…[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

May Meets Trump

The President meets the Prime Minister on the steps of the White House:

Trump tells May “it’s a great honour to have Winston Churchill back”:

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Theresa May Speech to Republican Retreat

“Majority Leader McConnell, Mr Speaker, Distinguished Members of the Senate and Representatives of the House.

I would like to thank Congress and the Congressional Institute for the invitation to be here today.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

May on Trump

Theresa May asked how she’ll get on with President Trump:

“Haven’t you ever noticed that sometimes opposites attract?”[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

FAKE-BAKE NEWS: ORANGE IS THE NEW PRESIDENT, BUT THERESA MAY BACK HIM

Theresa May is jetting off to meet Donald Trump tomorrow, under pressure to simultaneously criticise his chauvinistic actions while convincing him to support post-Brexit Britain. The Prime Minister will almost certainly be on her high heels, but will need to climb down from her high horse pretty rapidly if she’s to get the newly empowered President on side. […] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

May Hits Corbyn With Killer Sadiq Quotes

Theresa May reads out Sadiq Khan’s quotes spoiling Corbyn’s main attack line on workers’ rights, as reported by Guido this morning. Another happy reader…[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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