Labour Benches Googling “Museum Directorships Near Me”

Now that the single market and the customs union (in its current trade-deal restricting form) are out of the question, just what are the Europhiles going to moan about? One half-expected Jeremy Corbyn to start today by earnestly inquiring if the Prime Minister will keep the glorious EU flag on our driving licenses and make sure butchers don’t start selling meat in pounds and ounces to the carnivorous, Brexit-voting xenophobes of the nation. It’s a sweet irony that arch-Remainers are now in the position of nitpicking about irrelevant minutiae of the European project, a criticism traditionally reserved for veteran Eurosceptics.

In the chamber today it quickly became clear that Jez, bless him, doesn’t seem to have quite cottoned on to the implications of the PM’s speech, and so instead decided to continue his established line of questioning. “Last year the Prime Minister said that leaving the single market could make trade deals “considerably harder”” he moaned. “The Chancellor said after the referendum that to lose single market access would be “catastrophic””, he cried. Getting desperate he wailed at Theresa May about the need for “frictionless access to the single market”, before finally demanding to know “will we have to pay for access to the market or not?” May and Hammond chuckled to themselves as they sat and watched the leader of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition valiantly flog a long dead horse.

This sort of meltdown is what happens when you force poor Jeremy to think on his feet: he malfunctions and naturally reverts to mindlessly regurgitating his standard single market moan-fest. The nadir came when the Labour leader attempted to crack a gag, “Restoring parliamentary democracy while sidelining Parliament”, Corbyn quipped, “is not so much the Iron Lady as the Irony Lady”. Dennis Skinner, surely an expert in the matter of poor political jokes, delivered his verdict in the form of a glum thousand mile stare into the middle distance. On the backbenches some Labour MPs momentarily stopped Googling “Museum Directorships near Me” and sighed in Corbyn’s general direction.

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WATCH: Corybn’s “Irony Lady” Gag Bombs at PMQs

The irony was nobody laughed…

PMQs: Who’s Asking The Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 18 January

Q2 Kirsty Blackman (Aberdeen North)

Q3 Chris Bryant (Rhondda) If she will visit the Rhondda

Q4 Ian Blackford (Ross, Skye and Lochaber)

Q5 Mr Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury)

Q6 Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield)

Q7 Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden)

Q8 Mrs Louise Ellman (Liverpool, Riverside)

Q9 Louise Haigh (Sheffield, Heeley)

Q10 Dr Eilidh Whiteford (Banff and Buchan)

Q11 Karl McCartney (Lincoln)

Q12 Gordon Marsden (Blackpool South)

Q13 Meg Hillier (Hackney South and Shoreditch)

Q14 Richard Fuller (Bedford)

Comments in the comments…

Spotted: Zac Back in Members’ Cloakroom

Welcome to parliament Sarah Olney…

Pressures of Ageing Population at PMQs

“Last week Mr. Speaker”, boomed Jeremy Corbyn, “four hundred and eighty five people in England spent more than twelve hours on trolleys in hospital corridors”. “SHAME!” (for once justly) heckled one backbencher. The Labour leader then inquired if the Prime Minister thought “fiddling the figures” would be the best way for her to manage such a crisis. Not a bad start at all from a newly rejuvenated Corbyn: someone clearly had a happy Kwanzaa.

Facing such a serious accusation of bureaucratic indifference to the plight of the ill, Theresa May decided to grace us with her best impression of an ill-tempered Soviet apparatchik discussing peasant fatalities after a particularly bad harvest: “There are pressures on the NHS”, she intoned stonily, “There are always extra pressures during the winter. But we have at the moment the added pressures of the ageing population and the growing complex needs of the population”. Finally solace for those serfs lying in their own filth for the best part of a day: if only their needs weren’t so complex and they weren’t so damn old then maybe they could be seen a little earlier!

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Corbyn’s PMQs Inspiration

Guido might have detected David Prescott’s turn of phrase from Corbyn today – the Labour leader now has Prezza Jnr working on his PMQs prep team and hit the PM with the archetypal Labour attack line: “Our NHS is in crisis but the Prime Minister is in denial”. A better Corbyn line was his mockery of Theresa May’s “shared society”: “More people sharing hospital corridors on trolleys”. Inspired by Morten Morland’s cartoon in today’s Times?

The BBC had a similar line on the News at Ten on Monday as well. Neither May nor Corbyn is a strong PMQs peformer, the best lines are borrowed from elsewhere. Becoming a challenge for sketch writers…

H/T @paulwaugh, @joeyfjones, @bbclaurak, half of Twitter.

First PMQs of 2017: Who’s Asking The Questions

Oral Questions to The Prime Minister

Q1 Chris Law (Dundee West) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 11 January.

Q2 Ian Murray (Edinburgh South)

Q3 Mark Menzies (Fylde)

Q4 Mrs Maria Miller (Basingstoke)

Q5 Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) What recent assessment she has made of the (a) performance of the economy and (b) adequacy of provision of public services in Staffordshire; and if she will make a statement.

Q6 Tracy Brabin (Batley and Spen)

Q7 Norman Lamb (North Norfolk)

Q8 Antoinette Sandbach (Eddisbury)

Q9 Richard Fuller (Bedford)

Q10 Joanna Cherry (Edinburgh South West)

Q11 Alan Brown (Kilmarnock and Loudoun)

Q12 Edward Argar (Charnwood)

Q13 John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness)

Q14 Dr James Davies (Vale of Clwyd)

Q15 Chris White (Warwick and Leamington)

Comments in the comments…

Happy New Year!

We want to thank you, the reader, for making our year. For providing the gossip, the tips, the jokes, the leaked documents, the tearfully funny comments and innovative insults that make Guido Fawkes the website it is today. Our free wheeling editorial culture hopefully still does not take itself too seriously, even when breaking serious news.

Every day tens of thousands of you come to catch-up on Westminster gossip. It always amazes us to learn who reads our website – whether it is a reader in Buckingham Palace or, equally unexpectedly, an old school friend met for the first time in decades. Gossip appeals to everyone, even if they don’t admit it!

We have a strong team going into 2017, journalists with scoops under their belts and a hunger for more. We might even find out what Brexit means.

All the best for 2017!

Skinner: Football Abuse Scandal Is About “People Making Money”

An odd contribution even by Skinner’s standards, suggesting child abuse in football is a class issue, and “it’s about the people making money and the Tories know a lot about that”. His doddery argument is that miners don’t touch minors.[…] Read the rest

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Bercow Slaps Down Bone for Crazy Hat Charity Stunt

Donate here[…] Read the rest

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Caroline Lucas Fails to Declare Her Interest

At PMQs Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, asked the PM if she would sack Transport Secretary Chris Grayling over Southern Rail. The PM retorted that the unions are the ones responsible for the unnecessary strikes. Shouldn’t Ms Lucas have declared her £7,000 donation from the RMT?[…] Read the rest

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Last PMQs of Term: FFS!

Peter Dowd got PMQs kicking today when he suggested pencilling “FO” next to our glorious Foreign Secretary’s name “should have been an instruction not a job offer”. Having not really bothered with popular culture since some time in 1979 (when leather trousers were “in”), Theresa May was stony faced as the House erupted with sedentary chortling.[…] Read the rest

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Theresa May: FFS, Boris

“A Fine Foreign Secretary”, indeed…[…] Read the rest

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PMQs: Who’s Asking The Questions

Oral Questions to The Prime Minister

Q1 Peter Dowd (Bootle)

Q2 Mark Durkan (Foyle)

Q3 Nick Smith (Blaenau Gwent)

Q4 Amanda Milling (Cannock Chase)

Q5 Ian Blackford (Ross, Skye and Lochaber)

Q6 Lucy Powell (Manchester Central)

Q7 Justin Madders (Ellesmere Port and Neston)

Q8 Mike Weir (Angus)

Q9 Ms Gisela Stuart (Birmingham, Edgbaston)

Q10 Naz Shah (Bradford West)

Q11 Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham)

Q12 Dr Sarah Wollaston (Totnes)

Q13 Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion)

Q14 Victoria Prentis (Banbury)

Q15 Helen Whately (Faversham and Mid Kent)

Comments in the comments…[…] Read the rest

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Vaz and Bercow Get the Party Started

Surreal moment in the Commons as Vaz congratulates Bercow on his and Sally’s anniversary, before asking if had a “party” last night. Remember, the Speaker and Vaz are close[…] Read the rest

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Thornberry In Labour’s Side

Theresa May sat out PMQs today as she’s far away in Bahrain bowing to our Gulf overlords (peace be upon them). It turns out that fawning deference comes easy when in the presence of the assorted head-choppers, slave-drivers and anti-Semites that comprise the Gulf Cooperation Council.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Sky’s Faisal Islam on the mood in Parliament at the moment:

“It’s a totally febrile atmosphere here. It’s kind of like Game of Thrones meets House of Cards – and if you chuck in the Labour Party – Laurel and Hardy too.”

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