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

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister
Q1 Mr Geoffrey Robinson (Coventry North West) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 19 July.

Q2 Kirsty Blackman (Aberdeen North)

Q3 Mr Paul J Sweeney (Glasgow North East)

Q4 Helen Whately (Faversham and Mid Kent)

Q5 Mike Wood (Dudley South)

Q6 Dan Carden (Liverpool, Walton)

Q7 Ian Murray (Edinburgh South)

Q8 Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford)

Q9 Bob Blackman (Harrow East)

Q10 Gordon Marsden (Blackpool South)

Q11 Richard Drax (South Dorset)

Q12 Lucy Allan (Telford)

Q13 Mr Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East)

Q14 Louise Haigh (Sheffield, Heeley)

Q15 Sarah Jones (Croydon Central)

Comments in the comments…

DPMQs Sketch: Shadow Cabinet Ladies Night

With the boss otherwise engaged, Damian Green strolled down to the country pub for a quiet pint. He found himself at the shadow cabinet’s all-women lock-in being held at a suburban All Bar One. This was Emily Thornberry’s lunchtime on the tiles; this was her at 3AM at 12 midday. Clothed from head-to-toe in lip-stick-red – a flash of gold from the earrings – Green could not hope to match the entirely unwarranted yet somehow lethal sass of this plump old lawyer as she played the common cougar. Minutes earlier Thornberry is in the Common’s ladies loo, looking at herself over and over again in the mirror (you suspect Green doesn’t ever look). She winks at herself, blows herself a kiss. Don’t you look good darling. You go give it to him; you are the hen at the party. He’s only a man…

Green would confirm Lady Nugee’s long-held views of all those unfortunate enough to have been born with a penis. Like every doddery old bloke in the history of human race, the First Secretary brought his punishment entirely upon himself. Immediately joking about women and leadership when up against Thornberry is ill-advised. He tried this one: “There are many distinguished people – of both sexes – who have done [PMQs] in this party, because we of course elect women leaders.” If there are two things Emily Thornberry is sure of – and there may only be two such things in the universe – it’s that she is a woman and that she is a leader. Instantly she parries: three Labour women had led at PMQs since Theresa May came on the scene. Don’t start with me boy, I’ll make mincemeat out of you… Continue reading

DPMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

The Prime Minister is welcoming the King and Queen of Spain so First Secretary of State Damian Green is standing in. Emily Thornberry leads for Labour.

Q1 Caroline Flint (Don Valley) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 12 July. (900401)

Q2 Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford)

Q3 David Morris (Morecambe and Lunesdale)

Q4 Alison Thewliss (Glasgow Central)

Q5 Neil O’Brien (Harborough)

Q6 Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central)

Q7 Kit Malthouse (North West Hampshire)

Q8 Mr Graham Brady (Altrincham and Sale West)

Q9 Dr Rupa Huq (Ealing Central and Acton)

Q10 Mrs Maria Miller (Basingstoke)

Q11 Michael Tomlinson (Mid Dorset and North Poole)

Q12 Toby Perkins (Chesterfield)

Q13 Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire)

Q14 Rosie Cooper (West Lancashire)

Comments in the comments…

Robot Wars

Tonight on BBC Two’s Robot Wars, Prime Minister’s Question Time! And here come the competitors once again, rolling their way through the tunnel and into the green-plated arena. The audience is packed behind the crash barriers, and as the lights go up and the smoke clears we see them: MayBot and JezBot! The Robot Wars theme plays and the crowd goes wild…

The roboteers up in the gallery have made several changes to their respective machines since last week’s fight. In just seven days MayBot 2.0 has been fitted with completely new weaponry: you’ll notice that huge pair of scissors fixed to her front bumper. That cutting gear is christened ‘The Deficit Destroyer‘: it’s designed to slice through the unlimited spending team JezBot want to deploy. MayBot also now boasts a rear weapon: the ‘Austerity Angle Grinder‘ spins at frightening speeds, slicing through cash. Her critics say she should have deployed these weapons in the heats which preceded this series; if you’re one of our regular viewers, you’ll remember them from the good old days of CamBot and OsBot. Will a return to the old design save the blue team?

Ah! Our cameraman catches a glimpse of Professor Milne, designer of the JezBot, silently watching the via video link from the engineer’s workshop. No obvious changes to his machine this week – but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. JezBot’s 1970s chassis – which the critics branded useless – has been serving the red team pretty well recently… 
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Snobby Speaker Criticises “Downmarket” MPs

Classic sneering condescension from the Speaker…

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Hannah Bardell (Livingston) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 5 July.

Q2 James Morris (Halesowen and Rowley Regis)

Q3 Alex Cunningham (Stockton North)

Q4 Nicky Morgan (Loughborough)

Q5 Paul Scully (Sutton and Cheam)

Q6 Bill Wiggin (North Herefordshire)

Q7 Mrs Sheryll Murray (South East Cornwall)

Q8 Jonathan Edwards (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr)

Q9 Matt Warman (Boston and Skegness)

Q10 Andrew C Bowie (West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine)

Q11 Alex Burghart (Brentwood and Ongar)

Q12 Mr Khalid Mahmood (Birmingham, Perry Barr)

Q13 Scott Mann (North Cornwall)

Q14 Helen Hayes (Dulwich and West Norwood)

Q15 Stephen Lloyd (Eastbourne)

Comments in the comments…

Tory MP Reveals Hard-Left Intimidation

Tory MP Sheryll Murray says that during the election campaign swastikas were carved into her posters, social media posts called for her to be stabbed and people urinated on her office door.[…] Read the rest

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Corbynista media cheerleader Aaron Bastani says his friend Clive Lewis’s “b*tch” comment was:

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