PMQs Sketch: Were Her Strepsils Swapped for Performance Enhancers?

At Prime Minister’s Questions, at six minutes past midday, Theresa May almost began to dance. Jeremy Bernard Corbyn had just tried to catch her off-guard – rather like a mugger – by leading on London’s crime wave. That is, the plague of midnight stabbing and acid-ing unleashed by New Labour’s lost children. Cue Theresa: “He might not have noticed but the Police and Crime Commissioner in London is the Mayor…”

As soon as she said “mayor”, Theresa May started to flick her wrist back and forth, finger outstretched, pointing between the government and opposition benches. This is a new action in a limited repertoire of gestures, a far cry from the ‘nothing has changed maniacal double-hand wave’. Turning side on, she paused, then said: “is he one of ours or one of yours?”

Unusually, her backbenchers roared with glee. Damian Green raised a smile wider than a pornstar’s legs. And then it really started to happen.  Riding the crest of the wave, as stand-up comics call it, Theresa May herself smiled and said: “perhaps the leader of the Labour Party thinks the mayor’s not Labour enough for him.”

Had her Strepsils been swapped for some banned performance enhancing drug? How long could this near-symphonic high last for the Prime Minister? She had succeed in delighting the House more with this attacking first answer than she has at any parliamentary appearance since the election. Put more of this in her Benylin!

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PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Tom Tugendhat (Tonbridge and Malling) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 15 November.

Q2 Mark Pawsey (Rugby)

Q3 Drew Hendry (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)

Q4 Carolyn Harris (Swansea East)

Q5 Oliver Dowden (Hertsmere)

Q6 Michael Tomlinson (Mid Dorset and North Poole)

Q7 Nigel Mills (Amber Valley)

Q8 Stephen Gethins (North East Fife)

Q9 Michelle Donelan (Chippenham)

Q10 Mary Creagh (Wakefield)

Q11 Ms Marie Rimmer (St Helens South and Whiston)

Q12 Kit Malthouse (North West Hampshire)

Q13 Stephen Lloyd (Eastbourne)

Q14 Paul Masterton (East Renfrewshire)

Q15 Tracy Brabin (Batley and Spen)

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Mr Dennis Skinner (Bolsover) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 1 November

Q2 Ms Nusrat Ghani (Wealden)

Q3 Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham)

Q4 David Linden (Glasgow East)

Q5 Chris Law (Dundee West)

Q6 Mrs Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham)

Q7 Fiona Bruce (Congleton)

Q8 Gavin Newlands (Paisley and Renfrewshire North)

Q9 Alex Chalk (Cheltenham)

Q10 Bridget Phillipson (Houghton and Sunderland South)

Q11 Oliver Dowden (Hertsmere)

Q12 Lisa Nandy (Wigan)

Q13 Kevin Hollinrake (Thirsk and Malton)

Q14 Leo Docherty (Aldershot)

Comments in the comments…

Corbyn’s Prime Time Advertising

Was Corbyn paid for his prime time promo for Tracey Ullman’s new Friday night show?

May on Jared: MPs Must Show Women Respect

Theresa May responds to the Jared O’Mara scandal:

“All of us in the House should have due care and attention to the way in which we refer to other people and should show women in public life the respect they deserve.”

Remarkable it took Labour so long to deal with him.

PMQs: Watch Live


Comments in the comments…

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister 

Q1 Afzal Khan (Manchester, Gorton) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 25 October.

Q2 Jo Platt (Leigh)

Q3 Kevin Foster (Torbay)

Q4 Stewart Hosie (Dundee East)

Q5 Mrs Sheryll Murray (South East Cornwall)

Q6 Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon)

Q7 Tonia Antoniazzi (Gower)

Q8 Mr Kevan Jones (North Durham)

Q9 Simon Hoare (North Dorset)

Q10 Thelma Walker (Colne Valley)

Q11 Tommy Sheppard (Edinburgh East)

Q12 Victoria Prentis (Banbury)

Q13 Alison McGovern (Wirral South)

Q14 Joanna Cherry (Edinburgh South West)

Q15 Mr Mark Hendrick (Preston)

Comments in the comments…

Arms Folded in Unity

Actually not a bad ad lib from Corbyn pointing out that Amber Rudd was keeping Boris and Hammond apart at PMQs.

Positive body language… sorta.

PMQs Live

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Esther McVey (Tatton) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 18 October.

Q2 Rachel Reeves (Leeds West)

Q3 Margaret Greenwood (Wirral West)

Q4 Ruth George (High Peak)

Q5 Luke Hall (Thornbury and Yate)

Q6 Laura Pidcock (North West Durham)

Q7 Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South)

Q8 Dr Alan Whitehead (Southampton, Test)

Q9 Julie Cooper (Burnley)

Q10 Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes)

Q11 Joan Ryan (Enfield North)

Q12 John McNally (Falkirk)

Q13 Sir David Crausby (Bolton North East)

Q14 Mr Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)

Comments in the comments…

Rudd Schmoozes Backbenchers Over Sushi and Sandwiches

You can usually spot which Tories are mounting leadership bids by seeing who has been hosting colleagues for evening drinkies. Amber Rudd has taken a more metropolitan approach – yesterday she schmoozed backbenchers over sushi and sandwiches at a lunch held in her office after PMQs. Rudd was working the room hard, one MP said: “It was obviously a thinly disguised leadership bid”. Others present say the get-together was more about getting colleagues on board with the immigration bill. Those huge donations are being well spent…

“Whoops”

Not sure it was rage, more carelessness judging by the “whoops” and smirk from the PM…

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?


Q1 Ian Mearns (Gateshead) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 11 October.

Q2 Robert Neill (Bromley and Chislehurst)

03 Heidi Allen (South Cambridgeshire)

QR Lloyd Russell-Moyle (Brighton, Kemptown)

QS Ms Karen Buck (Westminster North)

Q6 Gareth Snell (Stoke-on-Trent Central)

Q7 Mark Menzies (Fylde)

Q8 Heidi Alexander (Lewisham East)

Q9 Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East)

Q10 Alistair Carmichael (Orkney and Shetland)

Q11 Chris Elmore (Ogmore)

Q12 Jim McMahon (Oldham West and Royton)

Q13 David T. C. Davies (Monmouth)

Q14 Vicky Foxcroft (Lewisham, Deptford)

Q15 Hywel Williams (Arfon)

Comments in the comments…

PMQs Sketch: First Dates

PMQs: every Wednesday lunchtime it feels like watching an action replay of the worst first date you have ever been on in your life. Like a cocky sixth-former with horrendously bad chat, Jez always over-plans his opening gambit: this time it was disability rights. Hapless and out of fashion, his first lines hit so far off base that they force May to rely on stock phrases she had mentally planned out for different scenarios. Like an under-confident teenage girl trying to recall what she said to herself in the mirror the night before, May hesitates before every response. Will they ever get anywhere near the hot verbal intercourse we all crave?

The main course seldom goes better. Jez’s material was again worthy and stale; he overcooked public sector pay with statistics. Meanwhile, the bloody difficult date sat opposite might as well have been in a different restaurant. May is a clock-watching woman, she has no desire to be there: the kind of girl who might just vanish from the table while you’ve gone to the gents. This week, the last PMQs before conferences, it was especially clear she could not wait to get the taxi home. She regards every question as an attempt to dishonour her, yet she is dealing with a man who essentially cannot perform. It is painful to watch her act so defensively against Jez who, when it comes to debate, cannot keep it up…

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May on Fabbers’ First Date

Theresa May promoted Michael Fabricant’s forthcoming appearance on the Channel 4 series Celebrity First Dates at PMQs. A programme known for finding romance for blonde bombshells…

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Q1 Layla Moran (Oxford West and Abingdon) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 13 September.

Q2 Philip Davies (Shipley)

Q3 Melanie Onn (Great Grimsby)

Q4 Edward Argar (Charnwood)

Q5 James Heappey (Wells)

Q6 Louise Haigh (Sheffield, Heeley)

Q7 Hannah Bardell (Livingston)

Q8 Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) When she next plans to meet the Mayor of the West Midlands to discuss the economy of that region; and if she will make a statement.

Q9 Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields)

Q10 Daniel Zeichner (Cambridge)

Q11 Kirsty Blackman (Aberdeen North)

Q12 Jamie Stone (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)

Q13 Jonathan Edwards (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr)

Q14 Norman Lamb (North Norfolk)

Q15 David Morris (Morecambe and Lunesdale)

Comments in the comments…

McPMQs

What do a McDonald’s worker and Jeremy Corbyn have in common? Two E’s at A-Level. But more than that, in fact: as the hot potatoes of Brexit and immigration policy sizzled unattended in the frying pan of politics, Jez chose to begin PMQs with an ardent defence of Britain’s burger flippers. Why?

Because Jeremy Corbyn feels a natural affinity with the fast food operative; he is no less than the patron saint of sausage shufflers. Jez is deeply aware that nothing more should have become of him in this life, he should have been that unwillingly-uniformed delinquent stood behind the McDonald’s counter, red-hatted and forever destined to fill paper cartons full of soggy fries. In fact, Jez single-handedly undermines the message of McStrike. Jeremy Corbyn is exactly what happens when you pay a McDonald’s one-star worker more than £100,000 a year: you get a woefully over-promoted half-wit unable to correctly follow orders, their salary entirely out of step with their abilities and performance. Then again Vegan Jez wouldn’t fit in at McDonald’s…

Tom Watson would be on the burger station, wouldn’t he? Slipping one out of every two beef patties slyly into his capacious gob, chucking the odd one into the mouth of Emily Thornberry, poised on the other side of the grill. It’d be like feeding one of those plastic bins made to look like an animal. Don’t put Laura Pidcock on the tills for God’s sake; she won’t talk to any of the customers. Come to think of it, could any of these jokers make an even half-arsed attempt at running an average fast food outlet? Extrapolate further and you see the whole thing is little more than McPMQs: the same old diet of junk is still constantly served up, the quality improves not a bit. At least a McDonald’s is over quickly…

And like turning a burger, Jez flips from the private to public sector: for him they are two sides of the same steak, both equally deserving to be thrown on the fire. “Warm words don’t pay food bills. Pay rises will help to do that. She must end the pay cap.” Almost immediately, the PM drops the entire dinner on the floor, saying he wants “money for this, that and the other”. Like a group of hoodlums gathered at midnight in the upstairs of a Maccy D’s in the rough part of town, Labour MPs whooped and hollered. She was doing passably well, but as usual impaled herself with one of her own attack lines, coming out like a kebab on a skewer.

No mention of Jacob Rees-Mogg; well, you wouldn’t catch him dead under the Golden Arches. The only actual news to come out of PMQs was a plea for an ancient driving law to be changed. It’s the first PMQs of the new parliamentary year, and that’s the top line. It’s almost like “nothing has changed”: every week, the menu is entirely the same, and, just like a McDonald’s, it literally ends up down the toilet…

Inside the House of Commons Departure Lounge

The House of Commons was today a green-benched departure lounge; Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn were two very different holidaymakers. Wan-faced frequent filer Theresa, slumped closest to the gate, was barely distinguishable from a battered old vending machine in a London Gatwick corner. Equally mechanical, but less full of sweetness, for Theresa it was just a 45 minute wait for her flight-outta-here; if she could have had speedy boarding she would have paid for it gladly. In strolls sombrero-toting ethical-traveller Jeremy Corbyn, with glee only shared by priapic teenage boys awaiting their first flight to Ibiza. He knows his hols will be spent ‘campaigning’ on beaches, surrounded by socialist vixens in hammer and sickle bikinis (basically). Over magazine-tops in air-conditioned lounges we will all observe our fellow travellers this summer. Hopefully we won’t end up on the same plane as these two…

In an unhelpful metaphor for the government, the first question was about driver-less cars. “This country is a world leader in driver-less cars and that’s part of our strong economy“: Theresa May might as well have been reading out a lifeless feature from an in-flight magazine. She sounded as robotic as middle-aged cabin crew member reciting a list of overpriced refreshments over an aeroplane’s PA system: it’s all played back from memory and delivered with the excitement and promise of a moist Ryanair sandwich. Like an unmanned aerial vehicle all she does is drone. Corbyn once again demonstrated his navigational ineptitude by taking off in the direction of public sector pay and only eventually getting round to Cabinet in-fighting. Would you let that man fly your plane? Would you let him sit in the special seat by the emergency exit? It’s not likely to trouble you this summer, but if you do find yourself on the same plane as Jez, remember that he is probably only there to assist in a hijacking. Alert the sky marshal should you see him aboard…

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SNP MP Wears Scotland Football Shirt at PMQs

Hannah Bardell taking the relaxed Commons dress code a little far. Get a grip Mr Speaker…

May on Approaching Reshuffle

Freudian slip?

H/T @DavidScullion
[…] Read the rest

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Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

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